Prevention and protection in terms of what to avoid, what to use and when combined with simple diet fixes and annual skin checks are all part of smart, safe sun practices. Ready to minimize sun damage? You can do so with these simple tips:
Prevent + Protect
- Avoid excessive sun overexposure from an early age and during peak hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
- Choose, and consistently use active skincare products formulated to penetrate deeply (cleanse, tone, apply serums and moisturize twice daily and remember to exfoliate).
- Use toner, it will help remove iron from tap water that can form skin-damaging free radicals when exposed to UV light.
- When outdoors, stay in the shade or under an umbrella, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.
- Use naturally-sourced sunscreen with SPF 30 and reapply every two hours with outdoor activity.
- Avoid a high-sugar diet and foods browned through heating or cooking of sugars.
- Eat an antioxidant-rich diet: fruits and vegetables containing Vitamins A, C and E.
- Increase intake of lean proteins cooked low and slow.
- Consume healthy fats: essential fatty acids, Omega 3, 6, 9, flaxseed.
- Choose anti-inflammatory foods and spices to soothe sun-exposed skin: salmon, kelp, green tea, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, papaya, olive oil, blueberries, sweet potato, turmeric, ginger, garlic and yeast extract; all rich in Vitamin B.
- Skip the alcohol, but go ahead and drink coffee and tea, and eat dark chocolate; those who consume flavonols in coffee and dark chocolate are found to be less susceptible to the damaging effects of UV rays.
- Add xanthine into your diet; according to experts, this antioxidant found in coffee and tea quenches hydroxyl radicals induced by UV rays and reduces their oxidative DNA damage.
- Hydrate: Increase water intake and eat water-rich foods like cucumbers and melons, especially if sunburned, to rehydrate and speed healing.
Check it Out
- See a dermatologist annually to get your moles checked.>
- Did you know? Spots with smooth borders that are symmetrically shaped and have uniform color are usually harmless. However, still check them out, better safe than sorry.
- Read the fine print: roughly half of medications make skin more susceptible to sunburns so ask your pharmacist if what you are taking falls into that category.
Embrace Your Skin + Go Faux
- The skin color you were born with is the one for you. Still craving that summer glow? Sunless tanning is the answer. Get a spray tan or use bronzing lotions, powders or self-tanners instead of exposing yourself to UV rays.