Many women begin fighting the signs of aging at a younger and younger age these days. Although there’s little we can do to combat heredity, we know so much more than we once did about the external causes of premature aging, such as poor diet and lack of exercise, as well as exposing skin to the damaging effects of the sun.
Summertime can pose particular difficulties when it comes to protecting your skin. You naturally want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, taking vacations and spending quality time with family and friends, but when the sun is blazing overhead, you have to be extra diligent to protect your skin.
The UV rays produced by the sun are terribly damaging to our skin, and areas like your face, chest, and hands suffer the greatest exposure on a daily basis. UV rays can not only cause freckles and other pigmentation, it can contribute significantly to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, aging you before your time.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to forego the outdoor activities you love during the summer. There are plenty of ways to protect your skin and prevent wrinkles.
Combat the Sun
Avoiding the sun altogether is, of course, a great way to ensure that no damage is done, but sitting at home while everyone else is outside having fun is hardly a solution. The trick, then, is to find ways to combat the damaging effects of the sun when you’re exposed.
You can start by finding ways to cover up. For example, you could choose lightweight linen clothing that offers the coverage you need while keeping you cooler than heavier fabrics. You can also look for UV protective clothing. It’s not hard to find options for everything from casual wear, to activewear, to swimsuits - even accessories like hats - that offer this feature.
You could try to stick to the shade whenever possible, whether that means finding a shadow cast by a building, using a tree for shade, or using a sun umbrella. However, there will be times when you can’t avoid direct sun exposure, and the best way to fight UV rays is with broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunblock.
In all honesty, you should probably wear sunblock on your hands, neck, face, and other exposed areas year-round. However, you need to be even more protective of your skin during the summer months, with SPF 30 or higher, making sure to reapply at least every two hours. As for the delicate skin around your eyes, add some trendy sunnies with UV400 protection or higher to prevent harm to your vision and the area where fine lines often appear first.
Hydrate and Moisturize
Our bodies are 60% water, and our cells rely on hydration to remain healthy and functional. The sun can dry your skin, as can summer heat that causes you to sweat, so in addition to using sunblock, it’s extremely important to keep your body hydrated and your skin moisturized.
Drinking plenty of water is a great place to start, and you should definitely up your intake on particularly hot days or at times when you’re active. The good news about moisturizer is, it’s pretty easy to find products with benefits like SPF included, allowing you to skip a step by protecting and hydrating skin with a single product.
Consider Facial Rejuvenation
Even your best efforts may not completely protect you from sun damage, and you may be disappointed when you start to notice fine lines and wrinkles or discoloration following a summer of outdoor fun. If this is the case, fall and winter are a great time to schedule facial rejuvenation treatments designed to minimize both of these issues, along with other skin woes.
If sun damage has caused wrinkles you’d like to minimize, contact Beverly Fischer, MD, and the talented and experienced professionals at the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery today, online or at 410-308-4700, to learn more and schedule a consultation.