Love it or hate it, summer is here! Warmer temperatures and outdoor activities encourage us to spend more time outside in the summer months, increasing exposure to the sun and its damaging UV rays. It’s important to practice good skincare habits all throughout the year to prevent premature aging and skin cancer, but summer is definitely the season when the sun wreaks the most havoc. According to Ron Shelton, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant dermatology professor at New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, the summer months account for 80% of our yearly UV exposure.1
Given that your skin is the largest and most prominent body organ, keeping it safe can seem like a daunting task. But don’t cancel your beach plans or buy a hazmat suit just yet! We’ve done the research to provide you with a list of the best tips and strategies to keep your skin glowing all season long – with health, not sunburn!
1. Strip it down. You’re not wearing a winter coat anymore, and your skin shouldn’t be either. Switch out your cream or oil cleanser for a gentle, sudsy one. A lighter-weight makeup routine can help reduce the potential for clogged pores and acne flare-ups. Look for mineral-based makeup, and choose combination products like moisturizer with SPF to streamline your routine and keep your skin protected from UV rays and pollution without layering heavy oils that don’t let your skin breathe.
2. Don’t dry out. Summer sweat and humidity might make your skin feel moisturized, but the effect is not the same. All you need is a lightweight layer to keep your skin protected from harmful chemicals and dryness. That’s true of your lips, too – use lip balm with SPF to protect that delicate skin from burning or chapping. And when the sweat gets too sticky to bear, opt for a short, cold shower to prevent skin from losing too much moisture. If you have chemically treated hair, consider swapping out your go-to products in favor of formulas made for dry hair.
3. Keep it covered. The best way to avoid UV rays is to stay out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm. If that’s not possible, employ protective measures like oversized sunglasses and wide-brim hats. You’ll avoid sunburn and eye damage, and look like a celebrity lounging poolside. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and – and that’s a big and – lather an entire ounce, or the amount a shot glass can hold (yep, you read that right!), over your body every two hours, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
4. Fight free radicals. We know you’ve heard of ‘em: They’re the pesky unstable molecules that terrorize cells in their search for electrons to pair with. This quest doesn’t have a happy ending for your skin, as electron poaching can cause oxidative stress and contribute to cell damage that leads to premature aging. The good news is that you can fight off these baddies both with topical products like vitamin C serum and eye cream, and with foods that contain selenium and antioxidants like CoQ10. Excellent antioxidant food sources include shrimp and fish like halibut, tuna, and salmon; berries, melons, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, bell peppers, and greens like broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. Sounds like a summertime picnic menu!
5. Build a barrier. In addition to moisturizing and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen, intaking enough essential fatty acids like omega-3s from coldwater fish (or NatureWise Alaskan Fish Oil softgels) can help maintain your skin’s natural barrier and keep it looking smooth and youthful. High-quality oils like organic extra virgin olive oil provide nutrients that promote your skin’s health and prevent dryness and blemishes. And since you’re sweating more, it’s extra-important to stay hydrated. Drinking water is the simplest way to boost your skin’s healthy glow – it improves blood flow, promotes nutrient absorption and toxin elimination in the cells, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles! Are you reaching for your water bottle right now? We are!
6. Take the “sun” out of “suntan.” Having a nice golden tan is a confidence booster, we know. And that summer sun on your skin feels sooo good that it’s hard not to believe a nap on the beach isn’t just what the doctor ordered. But even if it’s not red or painful, a suntan still indicates that the top layer of your skin has been damaged. Melanin forms to provide a protective layer between you and the sun’s UV rays, which age cells faster and increase your risk of skin cancer. The most common type of cancer diagnosis in the United States, skin cancer will affect one in five American adults by the age of 70.2 It’s estimated that over 5.5 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2020 alone.3 Not interested in contributing to the statistic? Not to worry. There’s a whole range of proven reliable self-tanning lotions, mousses, sprays, gels, foams, mists, masks, and serums to choose from so that you can get that sun-kissed glow from the comfort of your own home. Just don’t forget to exfoliate first for an even, non-streaky coat.
7. Step up your supplement game. You might tend to think about supplements during cold and flu season and neglect them for the rest of the year, but adding in those extra vitamins and minerals can offer huge advantages for skin health. Try our Men’s and Women’s Whole-Food Complex Multivitamins with support for hair, skin, and nails, or our organic Curcumin capsules to help combat oxidative stress.* For metabolism support with antioxidants to promote a healthy weight and encourage detoxification for clear skin, check out Raspberry Ketones Plus+ or Forskolin 1000 Boost.* And for smooth skin, healthy connective tissue, and strong hair and nails, our Enhanced Collagen Peptides can’t be beat!*
Keeping your skin safe doesn’t have to mean skipping beach days or sitting out on fun summer activities. It just means taking some precautions to protect yourself from sun damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer. The effort required to establish good summer skincare habits will absolutely pay off down the road, and your future radiant self will thank you!