By Nicki Anderson
Although summer is a welcome departure from the winter blahs, it also means that your skin has to be ready for its warm weather debut. Now more than ever is the time of year when you want your skin to look it’s best. Whether wearing a favorite summer dress or swimsuit, taking care of your skin during sun season will create skin you’re proud to show off versus skin you want to hide.
Exfoliate– Regardless of your skin type, exfoliating your skin on a regular basis can add a glow to your complexion. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells. Why does that matter? If old cells remain on the surface of your skin, the result is a dull appearance.
Sunscreen– Though sunscreen may seem like an obvious skin saver, many people still don’t use it properly. Using sunscreen should be a part of everyone’s summer skin arsenal. The higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), the better defense again UVB (shorter ultraviolet) which causes sunburn, and UVA(longer ultraviolet) which causes skin damage at a deeper level. A recent study confirmed that those who use sunscreen on a regular basis can slow signs of aging.
Water- Drinking 4-5 glasses of water per day not only helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it helps to keep the body hydrated and skin looking healthy. If you’re active, your water needs may increase. The best test to find if you’re properly hydrated is a light straw urine color.
Limit Bath/Shower Time- The more you shower, the more you strip natural occurring oils in your skin. Less oil means dry, flaky skin. When you do shower, try to let your body drip-dry as towel drying can irritate the skin. Though everyone’s skin is unique, your best defense against dry, irritated skin is keeping showering to a minimum.
Pay attention to harsh soaps– Certain soaps can play a role in irritating or drying your skin out. University of Iowa Department of Dermatology suggests Dove, Neutrogena Dry Skin Formula, Aveeno Cleansing Bar for Dry Skin and Oil of Olay Soaps for sensitive skin as they tend to be mild and less likely to dry out the skin.
Healthy Diet – Although there are no “super foods” to ensure beautiful skin, Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD, Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital believes, “Promoting healthy skin with diet is all about adopting good nutritional habits,” she says. Ideally, get back to basics by eating more fruits and veggies and avoiding high fat, high sugar, processed foods.
Manage stress– If you’ve noticed an increase in breakouts, it could be stress. Take acne, for example: when you are tense your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, which may increase the skin’s oil production, making you prone to pimples.
Quit smoking- Aside from the obvious dangers of smoking, skin health is not exempt. Smoking greatly reduces blood circulation which plays a role in healthy skin. Further, connective tissues that form collagen and elastin are damaged by tobacco smoke. Couple sun exposure with smoking and you’ll be doing your skin a huge disservice.
Visit a Dermatologist– Developing a relationship with a dermatologist is a great way to keep your skin healthy. Whether you’re dealing with acne, discoloration, moles or wrinkles, a qualified dermatologist can educate you about your skin type and suggest the best daily skin care regimen for optimal skin health.
Regular Moisturizing– No matter your skin type, don’t overlook the importance of daily moisturizing. Skipping regular moisturizing may result in redness or flaking of the skin. Additionally, over time lack of moisture can bring on wrinkles and fine lines earlier. Ask your dermatologist about the right moisturizer for your skin type, they can help you find the best specialty skincare products for your needs.
Exercise– Healthy skin is the result of living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is part of that equation. Exercise increases blood flow and circulation which lends a natural radiance to skin. Exercise also reduces stress which can improve the overall health of your body and skin.
Now’s the time to implement some of these skin-saving tips.
It’s never too late to take care of your skin
and with the suggestions above, it’s never been easier!
Nicki Anderson owned and operated the award winning Reality Fitness, Inc. Personal Training studio.
Nicki has authored four health and motivational books including, Nicki Anderson’s Single Step Weight Loss and 101 Ways to Motivate Your Clients and Increase Retention (Healthy Learning, 2009).
Nicki is the health and fitness columnist for Chicago Suburban Newspapers, Tribune Company/Naperville Magazine and contributor to numerous magazines and websites including, MSNBC.com, Forbes.com and FitnessMagazine.com, Real Simple, Prevention, Women’s Health and Women’s’ Running, Men’s Health and Fitness. For more information about Nicki visit, www.nickianderson.com and follow her on Twitter.
Nicki was referred to me via Skinfo.com.
Photos were shot by Kris Rodammer in Endemico, Mexico
Thank you very much!