A fast track to summer skin care
You have hydrated and exfoliated your way through winter and are currently smoothing and serum-ing your way through spring, so let’s stick with this seasonal approach to skincare by tackling the calendar’s next-at-bat: summer.
We’ll start with the sweltering season’s number one must-do, sunscreen. Of course you should be using sun protection year-round, but you need to be particularly cognizant during the summer when the sun’s UVB rays are the strongest. UVB rays are the same rays that cause burning and most types of skin cancer, so no amount of harping on this is too much.
Several daily applications of broad spectrum SPF 30 to exposed areas is essential during the summer season — face, arms, neck, hands, décolleté — it’s all vulnerable to sun damage. There are plenty to choose from, and for skin sensitive to the harsher ingredients in some sunscreens, try formulas that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide — physical blockers that tend to be less irritating.
Another great way to protect your skin this summer is to add a DNA-targeting treatment to your daily regimen. Since your cells degenerate as we age and the DNA actually breaks down, your skin is more likely to be affected by stress, pollution and the sun. Certain DNA-targeting treatments and serums claim to help repair DNA by either decreasing progerin, the toxic protein that interferes with cellular activity and DNA replication, or by preserving telomeres which act as protective bumpers on the ends of DNA. A conversation with your doctor is a great way to learn more about this new crop of sun-protection.
Summer is chock full of opportunities to live a less-than healthy lifestyle—poolside BBQ’s, too little sleep, and avoiding exercise—but sadly, all of these lifestyle choices play a major role in the health of your skin. Sleep, for example, is that magical time when your skin can repair itself, but if you’re clocking in too little, it’ll show… on your face. Fluctuations in blood sugar also take their toll, causing skin flare-ups, so cutting back on sugar and foods that contain refined processed carbs will remarkably benefit your complexion.
Of course, not all food news is bad news. There are certain foods that can actually improve your skin’s appearance. A recent article in Shape magazine, for example, touts the benefits of tomatoes. Drizzled with olive oil, tossed in a salad, or sprinkled with salt and pepper, tomatoes contain vitamins C, vitamin A and lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant known to reduce wrinkle-inducing inflammation. Delicious and detoxifying? Now that’s a multi-tasker we can get behind.
You’ve struggled year-round to keep your skin looking its best while skin-affecting seasonal changes do their worst — don’t let the lazy days of summer undo all of your hard work. A little commitment, a few less poolside cocktails, and a generous smattering of SPF should have you sparkling through the summer season, and leave you with less work to do come fall.