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Prepping Your Skin for Summer Fun

The longer days and warmer temperatures mean that summer is just around the corner. Before exposing your skin to the harsh rays of the sun, there are a few things you can do to lessen the damage.

Moisturize and hydrate: The harshness of the sun can lead to dry, damaged skin, even in humid climates. Your skin will also need to load up on vitamins and antioxidants to fight the free radicals and damage caused by UV rays. Finding a light moisturizer with antioxidants, like vitamins A, C and E, and using it at least once a day will keep your skin healthy all summer long. Starting a moisturize regime well ahead of the harsh summer months will lessen the damage because you will head into summer with smooth, well-hydrated skin. Healthy skin will always last longer and better than unhealthy skin. Additionally, you will already be used to the regime and can easily continue it throughout the hot summer months. You will also want to hydrate from the inside out. Drink lots of water, especially in hot and humid climates. Dehydration not only causes health problems, it also leads to dry, drab skin.

Build up slowly: Before spending all day long out in the sun, you should prepare your skin for the sun by spending little time outdoors. This may sound like building a base tan, but it is more than that. A tan does not protect your skin from sun damage, as any exposure to the sun can cause damage. However, going from your palest, winter skin into a full day out in the sun is just asking for disaster. Before heading on your outdoor vacation, start spending just a few minutes outdoors to prepare the skin. You will still need to wear sunscreen and protect your skin; however, by slowly exposing it to the sun, it will be more ready for a full day outside.

Eat foods that provide inner sunscreen: Certain foods protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV and UVB rays from the inside out. Although they are not a substitute for sunscreen, they are great tools to add extra protection for your skin. Foods high in antioxidants, like blueberries, will naturally protect and fight any free radicals and damage caused by the sun. Foods rich in color, especially orange and yellow, will also protect your skin. These plants have properties that protect them from the sun’s damaging rays. When you eat them, some of those properties are passed on to you. Oranges, carrots and tomatoes are extremely helpful, as are many tropical fruits. Food with high water content, like watermelon, also helps keep you hydrated on hot sunny days.

Find the perfect sunscreen for you: Any discussion about summer skin care includes sun protection as a topic. The most important tool you can have for summer is a great sunscreen. However, there are so many choices that it can be daunting to choose. You have to decide whether you want a chemical sunscreen or a natural sunscreen, spray or cream, sport or not, low SPF or high SPF. The strength of sunscreen depends on how long you stay outside and the sensitivity of your skin, although a stronger protection is always a good idea for any skin type. Natural sunscreens, which use minerals that remain on the surface of your skin to block the sun’s rays, will be better for your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. For oily skin, look for oil free sunscreen. Definitely find a face moisturizer or foundation with SPF to wear daily, whether or not you are outside for long.

After sun healing: Sun protection is not the only thing to consider as you head into the summer months. A strong post-sun skin regime will help lessen any damage caused by the sun. Moisturizing, especially with antioxidant rich lotion, will help keep your skin healthy. However, it is not enough if you find yourself burned by the sun. The best treatment for sunburns is an old one: aloe vera gel. If you have your own aloe vera plant, you can just cut a tip off and wipe the gel right onto your skin. Otherwise, look for an all-natural, 99% aloe vera gel that does not have any harsh ingredient. Aloe is a great treatment for burns. It will soothe and heal the burn, while lessening the damage caused by the sun.

Once you have prepared your skin for summer and stocked your cabinets with sun protection and aloe vera, you are ready to enjoy the outdoors and summer fun. You will make it through the summer with healthy, hydrated and fabulous skin.