Protect Your Skin & Prevent Sun Damage with These 5 Simple Tips.

In a recent article in Cosmopolitan Magazine (August 2011), a collective of dermatologists and plastic surgeons recommended their five top tips for protecting the delicate facial skin from sun damage throughout the hot, UV-ray-filled summer months.

Before we get to the list, I think it goes without saying that tanning beds are big no-no’s. Tanning beds use UV (ultraviolet) rays, and despite what some tanning companies may say, there is no such thing as “harmless” UV rays. Both UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage. Stay out if you want to prevent wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer.

Now… on to the tips:

First off, every morning, use an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals, which are the culprits that break down the collagen in your skin. Collagen is important because it keeps your skin strong, flexible, and resilient. As one ages, collagen production decreases, which results in wrinkles. Doctors recommend using a Vitamin C-infused serum because it penetrates deeper and quicker compared to a thicker lotion.

Second, use a sunscreen every morning on your face. At minimum, it should contain a SPF of 30. Apply every 3 hours or so throughout the day. The sun’s rays are strongest at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so be sure to cover up when exposed during these peak hours.

FYI: Just because it’s cloudy outside doesn’t mean you're safe from the sun. 60 to 80 percent of the sun’s rays go through the clouds and can reach swimmers 12 inches below water.

Third, exfoliate every day (evening is best). The summer sun slows the skin’s natural ability to shed its top layer, so you need to exfoliate more often during the summer months. Doctors in the article recommended a 2-percent salicylic acid wash left on the face for 60 seconds.

Fourth, after exfoliating, let your face dry, then apply a retinol to trigger the production of collagen and increase cell turnover.

Lastly, after performing all the above, end your regime with a hyaluronic spiked lotion. This will pull moisture from the air into the skin. Hyaluronic acid absorbs 1000 times is weight in water.

If your skin is already damaged, there are various peels and treatments that we can recommend to address before you begin the prevention tips we outlined above.

One more thing to end this post. We think you’re really going to get a kick out of this… New research recently published by the National Institute of Health explained that subjects who consumed about 20 grams of dark chocolates high in flavanols every day over the course of three months were far better protected from UV rays than those who didn’t eat the sweet treat. So indulge my friends and enjoy the summer. 🙂

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