Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 should be a no brainer by now. But, plenty of people still think they can skip this step. Even people who understand the importance of sunscreen might not be using enough to get the most protection. There are two basic rules when it comes to SPF: Apply it early and often. Slather your skin with sunscreen before you go outside. Then repeat applications every two hours or so, or even sooner, if you’re sweating up a storm or swimming.
Here’s another pro tip about sunscreen: Apply enough of it to actually protect you. You want to use about a shot glass full of it every time you apply. If you skimp on the actual volume of sunscreen, you can make up for it by going with a higher SPF. If you’re not sure you’re putting on enough SPF 30, go for SPF 50. The actual sun protection factor is reduced if you aren’t putting on enough in terms of volume.
Exfoliate to Reveal Healthy Summer Skin
Although you might associate winter with dull skin, it can happen in summer, too. One way to fight back is to exfoliate on a regular basis. There are lots of ways to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells and other debris. You can do it at home with a gentle facial scrub or cleansing brush.
Or, you can visit a medical spa and explore the treatment options available there. Chemical peels help refresh your skin by sloughing away the top layer of dead cells, improving fine lines, smoothing texture and minimizing dark spots. Depending on how deep the peel is, little downtime is required afterwards.
Another in-office exfoliation option is a laser treatment. Fraxel treatments stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the dermis, encourage cell turnover, and help minimize dark spots, fine lines, and other signs of aging or sun damage. Although the Fraxel treatment itself is short (usually less than an hour long), recovery can take about a week. Your skin might turn red and the top layer should peel or flake away.
Whether you have a chemical peel or Fraxel, it’s particularly important that you protect your skin from the sun as it heals. Freshly exfoliated skin is particularly sensitive to the effects of the sun. It’s usually best to avoid any sun exposure, at least for the first week or so, to minimize the risk for hyperpigmentation and other sun damage.
Eat Fresh Fruits and Veggies
In the summer, plenty of produce is in season, so there’s really no excuse not to enjoy it. Here’s another reason to amp up the number of servings of vegetables and fruits you eat daily: they are great for your skin. Many fruits and veggies are full of water, which can keep your skin well hydrated. Some, such as berries, contain high levels of antioxidants, which can protect your skin from the sun’s damage (but aren’t a substitute for sunscreen) and from some signs of aging.
The air tends to be more humid in the summer and you might sweat more, making you think that focusing on getting enough hydration doesn’t matter as much. In fact, you want to make sure your skin is well hydrated in summer, as much as you would in winter. While you might switch to a lighter weight moisturizer in the summer months, you don’t want to skip the lotion completely.
It’s also important to make sure you take in enough water to keep your entire body hydrated. Remember that your overall health is reflected in the health of your skin. A good rule to follow is to try to have eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. When you’re out and about, toting along a bottle of water is a good idea. If you’re at the office every day, remember to get up and have a cup of water every hour or so.
Skip the Tan – Go for Tanner
You’re avoiding the sun, you’re exfoliating, you’re drinking enough water. But, it just doesn’t feel like summer if your skin doesn’t have that healthy, bronzed glow. Luckily for you, there are much safer ways to get tan than lying in the sun or, worse, using a tanning bed. Skip the tanning bed or sunbathing and go for a spray-on self tanner or bronzing lotion instead. Today’s tanners are more advanced than the orange-y products of the past, so you’ll end up with a healthy, natural looking glow without the sun damage.
If you’re ready to get ready for summer, talk to the team at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, today. Under the supervision of Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the area’s top plastic surgeons, our team offers a range of treatments to help you look great on vacation, on the beach, or wherever your summer takes you. To schedule a consultation, call (281) 810-9083 today.