Individual and Family

5 Healthy Summer Skincare Habits

Published on June 15, 2020

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While warmer temperatures often mean more outdoor fun, the summer heat can really take a toll on your skin. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Exposure to these harmful rays can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer – the most common of all cancers. The good news is you can still have fun in the sun and protect your skin with these five simple skincare habits:

1) Apply sunscreen

As the ultimate summer staple, the importance of sunscreen cannot be overstated. It should be worn every day, throughout the year, in all weather conditions. Sunscreen is especially important during the summer when we are most likely to be outside, exposed to the sun. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is considered best practice to use broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher. Make sure to apply a thick layer on all parts of your exposed skin. You should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, especially after swimming, sweating, or using a towel. While sunscreen is an effective way to protect your skin, it should also be noted that it isn’t an all-protective barrier from sun exposure. Sunscreen is intended to be used with the other sun-safety solutions included on this list.

2) Wear protective clothing

While it may be tempting to bare more skin in the summertime, clothing can serve as a barrier from harmful UV rays and can protect your skin from burns. It’s also a simple way to protect your skin since, unlike sunscreen, you don’t have to reapply throughout the day. The CDC recommends covering skin exposed to the sun by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats whenever possible. If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up over your bathing suit.

3) Drink plenty of water

As the summer temperatures increase, so does the need to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water every day is good for your overall health and can do wonders for your skin. Combat dry or dehydrated skin by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  How much water you need will depend on a variety of factors including overall health, height, weight, how much time you spend outdoors, age, etc. If you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking, use this hydration calculator to determine your ideal level of hydration.

4) Opt for a self-tanner

When it comes to favorite summertime activities, sunbathing or tanning by the pool is likely high on the list. As fun and relaxing as it may seem, exposing your skin to the sun for a long period of time can have dangerous consequences. Fortunately, there are still ways to achieve a sun-kissed glow this summer without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. Many salons offer spray-on tan services, or you can purchase an inexpensive self-tanning lotion at your local drugstore. Another option is using gradual self-tanning moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and control how bronze you’d like to be.

5) Be mindful of what you eat

Another way to achieve a healthy glow this summer – without baking in the sun – is by maintaining a healthy diet. Your skin needs lots of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, so be sure to pack plenty of fruits and vegetables in your picnic baskets and coolers. Some popular summertime snack staples include watermelon, oranges, blueberries, avocados, cucumber, tomatoes, and zucchini. Other go-to foods for healthy-looking skin include salmon, green tea, yogurt, and walnuts.

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