Many people, especially women like to believe that a youthful, healthy skin is a result of using the best anti wrinkle creams and potions. Marketing and advertising specialists create images of creams nearly as powerful as surgery. But what is the real key to a youthful and glowing skin? Protection from the sun!
It is scientifically proven that the biggest and most significant contributor to skin aging is sun damage. The UV rays don’t only cause cancer but more commonly damage and age the skin. Take these few points into consideration, all year round but especially in the summer.
Always use sunscreen of at least SPF 15
It is vital to use creams of foundations with UV protection all year round. Just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean there are no UV rays. Of course this is even more crucial in the summer when the rays are stronger and we spend more time outdoors. As tempting as it may be, try to avoid spending much time in the sun and wear a hat.
Have a healthy diet
You are what you eat – this is absolutely true also in this case. Your skin is a reflection of your diet. For a beautiful, healthy complexion eat unprocessed food, lots of fruit and vegetables, HEALTHY FATS, avoid sugar and most of all, HYDRATE!
Stay clear of smoking and drinking alcohol
Smoking can speed up the aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. The more and the longer you smoke, the more damaged and old your skin will appear. It is likely to cause wrinkles and dry skin not only of your face but for example upper arms (you wouldn’t like these wings, would you?).
Why does smoking damage your skin so significantly? Nicotine shrinks blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin. The blood flow to the skin is decreased and so is the intake of the vital oxygen and nutrients.
Chemicals present in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin – fibers responsible for your skin’s strength and elasticity.
Alcohol’s detrimental influence on health and looks is so obvious and often discussed that I don’t need to tell you about it. But have you ever wondered what it does to your skin specifically? When you drink alcohol, your body and skin can become dehydrated, leaving the skin looking older and tired.’ That’s nothing’ – you may think. But is that all? Along with increasing the risk of liver, pancreatic and breast cancer, alcohol increases the risk of skin cancers. Alcohol weakens the immune system and impairs adequate nutrition, reducing the body’s natural defense against skin cancer. Acetaldehyde, the main metabolite of alcohol is a carcinogen – it damages your DNA. Also, the negative effects of UV rays may be reinforced by alcohol in your system.
So does all that mean that you can’t enjoy a cocktail in the sun while on holiday or a glass of wine with your friends in the summer? Be reasonable. When you drink, stick to the recommended limits and drink plenty of water in between.
In the summer, when your skin produces more sebum and oil, you sweat more and you spend more time outdoors, your skin will simply get dirty. Don’t go to town with antibacterial and alcohol based products. Choose mild soaps, tonics and cleansers and opt for light moisturizers. As much as we all hate too much shine, don’t obsessively try to keep you skin completely matte, it needs a little bit of oil for protection.
A light moisturizer with UV protection or a BB cream (moisturizer, UV screen and foundation all in one) will protect and nourish your skin.
In the evening, stick to a short cleansing routine, cleanse, tone and moisturize.
If you work in an air conditioned environment and you feel your skin needs this, give it a quick cleanse and moisturize mid-day.
Sleep and exercise
Don’t let a summer holiday trip or other activities ruin your sleep and exercise pattern. Sleep and rest in general are very important for our bodies to regenerate, including the skin. Exercise to keep the blood pumping and flush toxins and your skin will reflect that.
Enjoy your summer responsibly and don’t neglect your skin and it will pay off!