We spend much of our time outdoors especially during the hot summer months, and you probably already know that your skin is the largest organ of your body. Given your skin's importance to your overall health and well-being, it makes sense for you to practice good skin care habits for healthy skin no matter what season it is. Here are the best tips for healthy skin that will help you keep your face and other parts of your body in tiptop shape anytime you are out in the sun.
So everyone knows to use sunscreen to protect your skin when you're out in the sun. But how do you pick from among all the brands and SPFs? And how much do you apply, when, and where?
- Look for broad spectrum UVA/UVD protection of at least 30 SPF. "Photostable sunscreens" maintain their sun blocking integrity when exposed to light, which means the protection will last a little longer. You might try UV Skincare Facial Light Lotion 4 fl oz Lotion. There are different types of sunscreen, so choose the type best suited for your activity (e.g., waterproof sunscreen for sports).
- Liberally apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going out to give the sunblock time to absorb. The amount you use will depend on the amount of exposure to the sun you will have. To get the full effect, the average person should apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen, which is the equivalent of a shot glass.
- If you're out in the sun for an extended period or if you swim, sweat or dry off with a towel, you'll need to re-apply sunscreen. If you don't, it'll be like you did not apply sunscreen at all. See A Note to Parents below.
- Be sure to slather sunscreen on the tops, sides, and bottoms of your feet as well! Other not-to-be missed places include: Your scalp (where your part is), back and front of the neck, and chest area. Also apply sunscreen to the skin at the edges of your swim suit.
- Skincancer.org also advises to take care of the skin beneath your fingernails and toenails as that skin tissue is also susceptible to burning.
- Don't forget your lips! Lip balms with SPF both moisturize and protect.
- Many articles of clothing will protect against UV rays. Cover up when possible with hats and sunglasses. UV umbrellas can also be helpful in fending off the harmful effects of the sun.
- Don't fall prey to common myths. Yes, you do need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day to avoid sunburn. Harmful UV rays do penetrate the clouds.
A Note to Parents
In some states, it is illegal to apply in school because the FDA regulates sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug. There have been well-publicized incidences of children harmed by this ban on sunscreen use. If such is the case in your state, be sure to get a note from the doctor for your child. Or, consider making your own sunscreen out of natural materials. If you want to make your own natural, non-toxic sunscreen, take a look at this:
- The hot sun can often leave your skin parched. Apply moisturizer when on your skin when needed to keep it soft and supple. The type of moisturizer you use depends on your skin type. If your skin is just a little dry, use a liquid moisturizer. If your skin is very dry, opt of a cream moisturizer.
- Because summers are typically hot and humid, look for a moisturizer (regular or tinted) that is noncomedogenic, which means that it won't clog your pores. With clear pores you'll avoid unpleasant breakouts.
- You should also take care of your skin from the inside. Exercise gurus and medical professionals alike urge proper hydration. After all, 60 percent of your body is water. You'll need to drink about eight 8 ounces glasses of water or equivalent fluids. While the water you drink does not go directly to your skin, water does function to keep your skin tissues and cells hydrated, and it does help your body flush out toxins. 
- During the normal course of the day, your skin may encounter dirt, bacteria, and various chemicals. Cleansing your skin twice a day -- morning and night -- will help steer you toward clear, glowing skin.
- For healthy skin, be sure to clean properly; avoid using bath soap to wash off the skin on your face. Instead, use a gentle face wash that suits your skin type.
- Exfoliation can help to get rid of skin that is dull and dry, brightening your skin and clearing your pores. (Here's an article on a dry-skin brushing technique for exfoliating your skin.) Exfoliation also promotes better absorption of moisturizers.
Oops! If you've stayed out in the sun too long, consider these tips for mild sunburn:
- Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.
- Take frequent cool showers or baths.
- Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas.
- My favorite skin care product Nerium AD Anti-Aging Treatment has also been clinically proven to help sun-damaged skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, enlarged pores, uneven texture, and aging skin.
Be selective. Always consider your skin type when it comes to choosing products. For best results, do your research and read the labels. Be aware that not all the products and chemicals you apply on your skin will be suitable for you. If in doubt, test products on a small area of your skin before using it on your entire body.
You might also veer toward natural products that minimize the use of chemicals. Products that are too harsh can damage the tissues of your skin, leading to scars and even pimple breakouts.
Worth the Effort
The idiom "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," makes sense here. It might take a little effort to keep your complexion youthful, fresh, and at the very least, sunburn free. However, the results will be worthwhile. Remember, it's never too late to begin taking good care of your skin, and what you decide to do now to protect and support your skin's suppleness will help your skin look younger for a longer period.