The warm months bring us more time outside soaking up the rays of the sun, which can be a stressor for your skin and your skin’s resiliency. “People tend to subject their skin to more damage in warm weather,” says David Colbert, MD and founder of New York Dermatology Group.
Beyond the natural benefits of Vitamin D, the sun’s glorious rays can actually be responsible for wrinkles, sagging skin, redness, irritation, enhanced aging and uneven pigmentation. Yes, you can still enjoy the outdoors without subjecting your skin to added wear and tear. The key to radiant and glowing skin doesn’t just rely on sunscreen protection. You can protect your skin internally as well as externally.
- Use a hydrating cleanser and nourishing serum and moisturizer morning and evening.
Use safe and natural skincare products to remove dirt and sweat as well as any make-up or sunscreen remaining on the skin especially at the end of the day. Use an antioxidant rich serum followed by sunscreen in the morning and moisturizer at night. “Antioxidants absorb damage-causing free radicals and act like an extra layer of protection when worn under sunscreen,” says Francesca Fusco, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. There is no sunscreen that can completely block out all of the sun’s rays and free radicals are created from exposure to these UV rays. Look for products with antioxidant ingredients such as vitamin C and E, green tea extract and resveratrol powder to name a few. Make sure to wear your non-toxic sunscreen even when it is cloudy outside. When you moisturize your skin all year round and not just when it is frigid outside, you are giving your skin the opportunity to look and feel it’s best at all times. We don’t stop eating well or stop working out when it’s hot outside, the same should apply to our skincare routine.
- Use a safe, non-toxic and natural sunscreen.
It is important to choose a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. You need to provide your skin with the proper armor to combat against the harmful UV rays of the sun, which could cause skin damage and/or wrinkles. You can find a list of safe and non-toxic sunscreens on the Environmental Working Group’s website www.ewg.org/skindeep. Make sure to reapply your sunscreen about every 90 minutes to ensure you are adequately protected. If you find yourself faced with a sunburn, be sure to react immediately by hydrating and nourishing your skin with an after sun product that contains Aloe Vera. It is very hydrating and wonderful at soothing the discomfort.
- Exfoliate once a week or every other week if you have sensitive skin.
Your skin will appear dull, dry and rough when dead skin cells hang out on your skin’s surface. When you exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells, you allow the cells of the skin to regenerate faster, which gives your skin a plump and gorgeous glow. Make sure when you purchase and exfoliating product that you opt for one that is more natural and gentle on the skin.
- Stay hydrated every day by drinking filtered water.
Your skin will certainly thank you for being properly hydrated. When you give your body the amount of water it needs, it allows toxins to be flushed out. We want the toxins to be flushed out because the build up of toxins circulating in our body can cause the detoxifying organs such as your liver and kidneys to not work optimally. This in turn can have a negative impact on your skin’s radiance and health. How much water is right for your body? Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half and that is the amount of water in ounces you should consume each day. When exercising rigorously or spending a lot of time in the sun, make sure to increase your daily intake.
- Get quality sleep each night.
When you aren’t getting enough rest (ideally 7-8 hours), your hormones aren’t able to reset. Cortisol, which is your stress hormone, can increase without enough sleep, and this in turn could cause the production of collagen in the skin to slow down. Collagen is important to healthy skin because when collagen isn’t produced in our skin, it can start to look dull and tired and lose elasticity. Your skin will seal in it’s own moisture and stay hydrated with adequate collagen production. Look for collagen boosting foods such as organic bone broth and those that contain amino acids, probiotics, Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Eat the colors of the rainbow each day.
The colors of fruits and vegetables have a unique benefit to different body/organ systems. Certain foods, such as those containing lycopene like tomatoes and watermelon have been known to be sun-protective. That is, they can act like a defensive guard in a natural way to your skin against sunburn. Foods that are rich in antioxidants will help prevent free radicals from damaging cells on the skin and in the body. Consume lots of berries, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers and dark leafy greens. They are loaded with the nutrients that your skin needs and loves.
- Exercise regularly.
When you exercise, more oxygen is brought to the skin’s surface, which nourishes the cells of the skin and contributes to the skin’s radiance. The increased blood flow that occurs as a result of exercise will also help push out cellular debris through sweat from your body. It’s like a gentle cleansing for your skin from the inside. Exercise is also great for reducing stress. I am sure you are aware that stress is problematic for your skin. Hello blemish!
Love your skin from the inside out and you will have a radiant glow no matter what season it is!