How to Protect Your Skin this Summer

IStock 994813508We’re seeing more glimpses of what’s to come as we inch toward summer. With warmer weather and more sunshine on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start planning. Not for that summer vacation, although who doesn’t love that idea, but for how you can protect your aging skin from damaging UV rays. The hands, chest, and face suffer the most when we don’t manage sun exposure as well as we could. In these areas, we may start to notice freckles and other hyperpigmented spots or blotches. We may also start to feel like the skin in these areas is aging exponentially faster than it once did. You can enjoy your outdoor activities this summer, but we suggest you also do the following.

Change Your Relationship with the Sun

If you want to revel in the warm summertime weather but don’t want to suffer premature aging, you want to renegotiate your relationship with the sun. Years ago as we began to hear more about the dangers of skin cancer and premature aging caused by sun damage, people started avoiding the outdoors. This swing to the other end of the spectrum caused widespread vitamin D deficiencies in many people. It’s not that you must avoid sun exposure altogether, you just need to know how to navigate those moments and combat them after exposure has occurred.

One way to combat sun exposure is to find innovative ways to cover up. Let’s face it, we get pretty muggy around here at some point in the summer. Less clothing feels better. However, even lightweight clothing, particularly UV protective clothing, can act as an additional barrier between your skin and UV light. Covering up may also include hats, umbrellas, sunglasses, and shady areas.

Coverage is nice but isn’t always readily available. For those times when your skin will be kissed by the sunshine, wear a good sunblock. Some studies suggest that a physical sunblock, one that often contains zinc oxide, is ideal for preventing sun damage. Physical sunscreens cause light to bounce off the skin so very little, if any, gets absorbed. It is also necessary to use sunscreen appropriately. Most people make the mistake of not applying enough sunscreen and not reapplying often enough. On average, when spending the day outdoors, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. You may need to apply more often if you swim or sweat.

A final suggestion for managing the risk of sun damage this summer is to hydrate and moisturize. The body is 60% water. For cells to function properly, they rely heavily on hydration. So, drink up! Water, that is. Before bed, wash your face and apply a high-quality moisturizer to replenish the dehydration that may have occurred during the day.

Come See Us for Professional Care

Before, during, and after the summer months, Sobel Skin is here to help you manage your aging skin. Whether you’re 20 or 70, your skin is aging and has unique needs. We can address those needs with a customized solution made just for you. Call 212.288.0060 to schedule your visit to our NYC office.