5 Steps to Take Now to Protect Your Skin All Summer

Although it may not feel like it in Michigan quite yet, summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to talk about the health impacts of extended time in the sun. While conventional wisdom tells us that sun protection is critical, sadly, more people continue to receive skin cancer diagnoses each year than all other cancers combined.

Skin is the body’s largest organ protecting you from external factors and regulating your body temperature, among other functions. As a major component of your overall health, there is more to protecting your skin than just applying sunscreen. Making considerations in the spring rather than the heart of summer can mean a healthier season for your body. Check out these quick tips to consider early, rather than late into the season:

  1. Clear up your skin with caution: While taking good care of your skin—hydration, exfoliation, acne treatment, removing unwanted hair—promotes proper hygiene, it also wears skin down and exposes it more to the elements. Be mindful of treating your skin before you spend significant amounts of time in the sun—raw exposure can be dangerous under certain conditions.
  2. Check the expiration dates on your sunscreen bottles: Surprise: sunscreen can expire! Although it typically remains its listed strength for up to three years, be sure to check the dates listed on your sunscreen container to make sure it will do its job properly when you head outdoors. No sunscreen on hand? You can always make your own.
  3. Eat foods rich in carotene and vitamin E: Did you know that editing your diet can help not only improve your complexion, but also help your skin adapt to the seasons? Think about foods that contain carotenoids (like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, apricots and melon) and/or those that contain vitamin E (like vegetable oils, almonds and other nuts).
  4. Progressively incorporate sun into your routine: Before you spend an entire day at the beach (reapplying sunscreen often, of course! Every two hours or so should do) spend an hour or two at a time in the spring and early-summer sun. Just like interval runs before a marathon, it’ll prep your skin for what’s to come at a greater intensity.
  5. Find shades, a sun shirt and a hat you love: An easy excuse for not covering up enough in the sun is that you don’t have the right gear. Start shopping early to find UV protective sunglasses, sun-exposure-friendly shirts and floppy (high-coverage!) hats you can stylishly make use of all summer long.

What is your summertime skin care routine? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Rawpixel

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