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Summer Skin Care from the Inside Out: Protecting Your Skin from Harmful UV Rays



With the summer season upon us comes many beach days and outdoor activities. While you enjoy these summer months, protecting your skin from harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays is important. Sunscreen is the most obvious precaution to protect your skin and maintain health. Let’s explore how you can provide your skin with the protection it needs this summer.

 

Hydration:

Consuming enough water allows your skin to maintain its moisture balance. At least 8 glasses of water a day is the average recommendation for water, but you should increase your intake if you will be spending time in the sun or outdoors in the summer heat. See our recent blog for more hydration tips.

 

Skin Healthy Diet:

The foods you eat can impact your skin’s health, adding skin-friendly foods into your diet maintains health as well as protects from UV damage.

 

-        Antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, nuts, and dark leafy greens help to fight free radicals caused by UV exposure.

-        Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are found in fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds can work to reduce inflammation and improve the skin barrier.

-        Vitamin C in citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers increases collagen production to help repair damaged skin.

-        Beta-carotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach, gets converted to vitamin A which is important for skin repair and regeneration.

 

Supplements for Extra Precaution:

Supplements can fill in gaps in essential nutrients that are in low abundance in the diet

-        Vitamin D—the sun is a natural source of vitamin D but too much exposure harms the skin. With a supplement you can ensure you have adequate amounts for the body, minus the UV risk.

-        Vitamin E contains skin-healing properties that can support cell repair to protect the skin from UV damage.

-        Astaxanthin is an antioxidant found in algae and seafood that can reduce the effects and symptoms of sunburn.

 

Smart Sun Habits:

-        Regularly applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is essential as well as reapplying every 2 hours.

-        Staying out of direct sunlight during high UV hours when possible or at least wearing a hat for some shade.

-        Hats, sunglasses, and swim shirts are all extra layers of protection against UV rays that can be incorporated into your outdoor activities this summer

-        It is important to avoid tanning beds or unprotected sun exposure which severely damage your skin and can increase the risk of developing skin cancer

 

How to Repair Sun- Exposed Skin:

Even by following these precautions, sun exposure can be unavoidable, but there are ways to soothe the skin.

-        Aloe Vera has great cooling and healing properties to provide relief to sunburnt skin.

-        Moisturizing regularly after sun exposure hydrates the skin and replenishes lost moisture and the skin barrier

-        Cool baths or showers can help to reduce inflammation and soothe sun-damaged skin.

 

Taking care of your skin requires proper nutrition, hydration, and sun habits. With this information, you can enjoy the summer sun while also protecting your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ; it is important to care for it.


References:

 

Beach, E. (2024a, June 5). 5 skin-smart tips for Summer. URMC Newsroom. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/publications/health-matters/5-skin-smart-tips-for-summer

Summer skincare guide: Keep your skin healthy and glowing all season: Howsden Dermatology in Garland, TX. Howsden Dermatology. (2024, June 28). https://howsdendermatology.com/blog/summer-skincare-guide-keep-your-skin-healthy-and-glowing-all-season/#:~:text=Incorporate%20Antioxidants,skin’s%20defense%20against%20environmental%20stressors.

 

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