We're in the home stretch of summer so by this point you've probably already figured out the challenges you're facing with keeping skin happy and healthy. Many patients I speak to believe that the winter is the time to protect skin from the environment, not realizing that the summer heat and higher exposure due to outdoor activities during the summer months can often leave skin under-protected and under-nourished.
Here are a few tips to keep your skin in top shape:
1. Keep hydrated: drinking plenty of water is a year round must, but it's especially important during the summer because we lose a lot of fluids through sweat. In drier climates, the sun will seemingly 'evaporate' the water from your skin so make sure you keep your body fluid levels in check. So like Malin Ackerman, make sure you have a bottle of water on hand when you go out and especially after a work out. (photo from mybrk instagram)
2. Apply sunscreen: I'll make a post for recommended sunscreens soon but I'm telling you now that sunscreen is a must. It is a key anti-aging preventative measure. Frequent sun exposure can lead to premature aging causing sun spots, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, etc. It's the difference between looking like Nicole Kidman or Tan Mom by the time you're approaching 50 (Nicole Kidman is actually a few years older than tan mom, but can pass as her daughter). Vanity aside, melanoma and skin cancer is a top concern in dermatology so I can't stress how important it is to implement a healthy attitude about sun protection from an early age. For real protection, use SPF30+, preferably from a physical block as they're more stable when exposed to UV rays. Men should take extra care to apply sunscreen to the top of their ears as that is the top spot where males are likely to develop skin cancer. A future post will cover frequency and amount.
3. Wear sunglasses: the skin under the eyes is the most delicate area of the entire face. It is also the thinnest. So provide extra protection with sunglasses that provide protection from UV rays. Furthermore, wearing sunglasses also prevent squinting which can causing fine lines to form around the eyes. The Olsen twins have the idea with their very protective lenses.
4. Antioxidants: it's another buzz word, but antioxidants are key free-radical fighters that are generated from sun exposure. Be sure to load up both externally and internally. Luckily many antioxidant-rich foods are perfect for summer, such as tomatoes, berries, kale, plums, bell pepper, cantaloupe, and cherries. Externally, apply an antioxidant serum under your sunscreen to counter any UV Rays that bypass the physical blockers.
5. Beat the heat: I mentioned in this post why facial mists are important but one of the key benefits of using one is because it does for the face what cool water does for the body during an outdoor activity: refresh, cool down, and diffuse heat. Learn from luxury exec Edo Jao, and keep your facial mist stash cooled down in the fridge for an extra refreshing and soothing spray after you've worked out. This helps dissipate the heat, preventing your skin from irritation, inflammation, and redness. (photo from Edo Jao instagram)