As we approach the summer months, now is when people think about protecting their skin; however, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are it is critical to take care of your skin. Although we can’t change genetics and its effect on our skin we can minimize the damage of environmental factors on our face and body. One of the worst culprits in premature aging is the sun. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the rise of skin cancer; bottom line, the sun is not our friend.
Whether you are 20, 55, 80 it is essential to protect our skin from the sun and ultraviolet exposure of any kind (tanning beds). You may not see it now but guaranteed you WILL see the damage from the sun in the form of freckles that don’t go away, sun or liver spots, wrinkles, and leather like skin. If you have an office window, drive a lot or bike to work, you will get exposed to damaging rays. Wearing sunscreen is a start but may I suggest SUN BLOCK with protection of at least SPF 50 because it’s stronger than sun screen. In addition to sun block, may I suggest a hat with a wide brim when outside. Also if outside a lot cover the rest of your skin with long pants and shirts – yes I know it’s hot!
Here are some other tips that will stave off the look of aging and keep your skin in tip top shape:
- Hydrate!!! Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Avoid caffeinated beverages as your sole source of hydration as well as mineral water and club soda. It’s ok to drink your coffee in the morning but refrain from it throughout the day. I can assure you if you get in the habit of drinking water you will learn to like it and want it to quench your thirst. Try some herb teas as an alternative.
- Take supplements such as C and E as well as essential fatty acids that are rich in Omega 3’s.
- Get plenty of rest! Sleep is natures repair shop. If you don’t have enough sleep its shows all over your face and overtime promotes aging. As well, research has shown that a lack of sleep promotes unnecessary hunger and eating and in time will add unwanted weight.
- Reduce stress. This is not easy, I know that. The heart palpitations, the sweaty palms, the anxiety and frustration, are unbearable and they take their toll on our hearts, arteries and skin. I suggest incorporating yoga as a vehicle to exercise, relax and reduce stress. Yoga helps develop your breathing that ultimately aids in stress reduction. There are many, many kinds out there, find the one that’s best for you. Besides it helps you to tone and strengthen your body.
- Exercise. Did you know that when you get the blood flowing that the increased circulation helps to aid the skin and ward off wrinkles?
- Don’t smoke. Inhaling smoke constricts the blood vessels and promotes aging as well as other problems that we are well aware of.
- Minimize alcohol. Moderation is the key.
- Wear sunglasses and protect your eyes and the skin around them.
- Moisturize hands with a lotion and sun block throughout the day.
- Get into the habit of a daily skin care regime. No matter your age, get into the habit of cleansing, moisturizing and protecting your skin morning and night. Avoid soap and cleanse with a soap free cleanser. Even soaps that claim to be moisturizing bars are predominately soap.
- After cleansing, use a toner such as witch hazel or alcohol free kinds. If you have sensitive skin avoid alcohol at all costs, this will really irritate your skin. After that moisturize and protect with a sun block.
- Exfoliate your skin at a minimum once a week. Exfoliation takes off the dead skin and helps reveal new cells creating a fresh appearance.