Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Skin Care

As the warm weather approaches us, naturally we want to spend time outdoors and get our dose of vitamin D. However, sun exposure can cause skin problems including wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer, so be mindful of your skin care.
  • Sun Protection: The sun is the strongest between 10am and 4pm, so cover up or seek the shade during this time. Apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before going outside and reapply periodically (about every 2 hours). Reapply after heavy perspiration, water, and towel drying, even if it is "water resistant." Also, wear UV-blocking sunglasses. 
  • Avoid Tanning: Avoid UV tanning booths and laying out for long periods of time in the sun. Tanning indicates DNA damage to the skin, and the body's attempt at preventing further damage by creating a barrier of darker pigment.
  • Stay Hydrated: Aim for a minimum of 64 oz fluids (mostly water) daily. Drink even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Caution near water: Water and snow can reflect the sun's damaging rays and increase your risk for sunburn. Also, be aware that clouds do not block UV rays but diffuse them, so you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day.
  • Avoid Smoking: As always, ditch the cigarettes and avoid tobacco products. Smoking accelerates premature aging and can negatively impact your overall health.
  • Look for skin changes: Examine your skin monthly, and report concerns to your physician. 
Review tips established by the Environmental Working Group to select a non-toxic sunscreen. Check out the database that rates the safety and effectiveness of skin care products. 
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Select a water-resistant cream
  • Choose SPF (sun protection factor) 15 to 50.
  • If possible, avoid products with chemicals such as fragrances, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) and oxybenzone. 

Stay safe and enjoy the nice weather! 

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