We are getting close to breaking some heat records here in Phoenix! With all this heat, your skin is taking quite a toll. Often, we wait until it’s too late to take care of it.
Skin cancer is still the most prevalent cancer in the United States. So instead of waiting until you’re already ‘looking a little pink,’ get into these habits now and prevent loads of irreversible skin damage in the future.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Wearing sunscreen is an effective way to protect yourself from the sun. But it can be hard to make a habit of it. There are some easy things you can do to start to making it part of your daily ritual. First, get a daytime moisturizer that already has SPF in it. For women, Aveeno, Pacifica, and Glossier have some that are light and don’t make your face greasy. For men I recommend the Nivea Men’s daily moisturizer or Harry’s face lotion. If you just want one to share with your spouse or to keep for guests, Cetaphil is great for everyone.
Also remember that when wearing sunscreen, treat it like a wardrobe. On these super hot days the type of sunscreen you wear for what you’re doing MATTERS. If it can’t withstand your activity, all you did was waste sunscreen. Luckily, it’s not hard to get your hands on a variety of sunscreens. Most Wal-Marts and Targets have quite the arsenal. At the beginning of the summer just go ahead and stock up on some of each. Beach friendly, swimmers assist, sport, and the daily norm. Then, make it a habit that lasts all year long. In Arizona, we never really get a break from the sun, do we?
Watch your hours of exposure. Yep, certain times of the day are going to give you more exposure. The times you are most looking to avoid that
direct light is 10a-2p. Best excuse to go for brunch every weekend. If you really want to keep track of your UV exposure, there are apps that track your local UV index. Most weather apps will include a feature like this. When the UV index is above 6, that’s when you want to consider seeking some shade.
To directly track your personal exposure, there is technology for that! It’s a necklace from La Roche -Posay. It’s around $60. All day while wearing it, it will track the UV exposure to your skin and sends the info for you to read to an app.
All medications have side effects, but we often forget that one of them is increasing your sensitivity to the sun! Be aware of your medications. Both prescribed and over-the-counter medication can have this effect. Common ones are antihistamines, like Benadryl; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( or NSAIDs), like aspirin/ibuprofen; certain antibiotics, such as Bactrim or Tetracycline; antidepressants; antipsychotics; and even some oral diabetic medications. If you have questions about something you’re taking, talk to your pharmacist!
Protect the future! Kid’s skin needs to be extra protected. Get them in the habit young and they won’t have to think about all these new steps you’re about to take! If your child is under 6 months, you’re not supposed to slather them down, but you do still need to be aware of their exposure. Light weight clothing that covers, sunnies, and best of all, HATS! Their little scalp needs to be covered. After that 6 month mark, it’s recommended to regularly apply that sunscreen! Kids don’t often want to sit still for application and drying, so take it easy on yourself and get the spray kind.
Finally, what you do day-to-day, effects your skin. The amount of water you drink, smoking, the food you eat. When your skin isn’t healthy, the sun just makes it worse. Make healthy lifestyle choices that affect your skin for the ultimate protection. Smoking is a big one. When you smoke, you damage the elasticity of your skin and deplete your collagen. Not a smoker? Still a lot you can do day-to-day that make a difference. Use light soaps, daily moisturizers and preserve the the oils of your skin by limiting hot showers. When you get out the shower, pat yourself dry instead of rubbing. Finally, eat foods the replenish and the nutrients your skin needs. There is a reason everyone tells you to eat your fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just when it’s hot. The first place your body goes to suck water away when it’s low is your skin!
Most of this wasn’t something you haven’t heard in some capacity. But it’s nice to get that reminder. Maybe one of these times you’ll even get it to stick! Pick one of these and actively work towards adopting it to your daily ritual. Also, invest in products you like! You are more likely to actually use sunscreen or a daily moisturizer everyday if you like it. Skincare is worth investing in.
Not only can clear skin make you feel confident but healthy skin often reflects a healthy inside too!