Your skin plays a significant role in your health. It protects you from the elements and microbes, and allows your body to regulate a normal temperature. It also allows you to experience sensations such as cold, warmth, and touch. While skin is protective, it can’t protect itself.
By learning to better care for your skin during summer months, when UV rays are more direct and clothing becomes sparser, you can enjoy the season with the confidence that you’re doing all you can to guard against skin cancer and other skin-related problems.
Wear sunscreen daily
Wearing sunscreen may seem like an obvious first step for summertime skincare, but many people fall short in this department. Broadspectrum sunscreen protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but only if you practice good habits.
Apply a product with an SPF of 30 or higher before going outdoors. This includes non-beach days, when you’re simply running errands or going to work. Apply liberal amounts. Most people should aim for about 1 teaspoon per smaller exposed body area, such as the face and each arm, and 2 teaspoons to each leg.
Limit or avoid alcohol
Did you know that drinking alcoholic beverages can raise your risk for skin cancer? In one study, the risk for basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma was 7-11% more likely for every small glass of wine or standard beer a participant consumed each day.
While the direct link needs more research, the American Cancer Society suggests keeping alcohol consumption down to one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks daily for men. Alcohol can also trigger psoriasis and rosacea flare-ups, and make your skin age faster.
Seek or create your own shade
You might apply sunscreen in the morning without realizing how much sun you’ll actually be exposed to later, or sweat off more than you’d anticipated. While it helps to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours when you’re outdoors, no one gets skincare “perfect” 24/7.
For these reasons, seeking whatever shade you can is important. When you’re out in the sun, look for shady areas beside trees or building awnings. You can also shade your skin from the sun with sun-protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat or an umbrella.
Eat a healthy diet
Nutritious foods won’t negate the need for sunscreen or other external sun protection, but they may help bolster your skin’s ability to fend off damage and disease. Research has linked the antioxidants beta carotene and lycopene, for example, with stronger defense against UV damage and the ability to maintain optimal skin health and appearance.
Good sources of these nutrients include watermelon, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, bell pepper, apricots, and dark leafy greens. Other foods linked with healthy skin include whole grains, nuts, seeds, and oily fish, such as salmon.
Learn more ways to protect your skin or address any current damage by scheduling an appointment at Z-Roc Dermatology. Call or use our book online feature today.