And staying inside with the curtains drawn isn’t one of them.
Summer is upon us again, and that means kids are out of school, large tents selling fireworks recently sprouted in every other parking lot, and of course, the heat has ratcheted up several notches – especially in South Florida.
And although it can be tempting to just stay inside until Labor Day with the AC on as high as it will go, we don’t have to be held hostage by Mother Nature. If you’re worried about what kind of an effect that extra-close sun could have on your health – and particularly your skin – here are some tactics you can use to keep yourself safe.
Sunscreen may seem like a no-brainer, but we’re not just talking about using it when you go for a day at the beach. Every time you step out of your home with the chance of being in the sun for more than 15 minutes, you really need to have sunscreen on. You should also carry it with you to reapply because no sunscreen is totally sweat or waterproof. And make sure the sunscreen you use is at least SPF 30.
Pay attention to the time
Question: When are UV rays the strongest? Give up? Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you can avoid being in the sun for long during this six-hour stretch, do it.
Use a hat
Now, you may want something stylish that matches your shoes, but whatever hat you choose, make sure it is large enough to protect your face, ears, and neck. To do this, it should have a brim of at least two to three inches.
Protect your eyes
Not only do your eyes need protection against glare and other harmful effects of the sun, but so do the areas around your eyes. This delicate skin is one of the first areas that shows signs of aging, so it’s important to pick up the right sunglasses. Find a pair that blocks 99 percent of UV rays and has wider lenses for maximum protection.
Don’t forget your lips!
So, you’ve covered your skin, head, and eyes, but what about your lips? To make sure they’re covered, be sure to apply a lip balm that contains SPF and reapply it every hour or as necessary.
Try UPF clothing
If you’re looking for even more ways to keep your skin safe, you may want to think about clothing with an embedded UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). Your regular clothes can work too, but UPF clothes just give you another layer of protection.
Add some new foods to your diet
Did you know that certain foods can help keep your skin healthy? For example, citrus fruits have limonene, which is being studied for its link to lowering the risk of skin cancer. Green tea contains antioxidants called EGCGs, which protect against inflammation caused by sunburn and could mitigate damage from long-term UV radiation. And the vitamin E in almonds may actually help repair some skin damage.
Because UV-stimulated vitamin D is good for you – and even has the potential to help with weight loss – you shouldn’t shy away from getting some sun this summer. But to avoid excessive damage and make sure your skin retains a healthy glow, it’s important to be proactive and follow the above tips.
And if you’re concerned that you’re not quite in swimsuit shape yet, the health coaches at Plantation Wellness will give you valuable nutrition information and help you make better choices when it comes to your diet. Learn more here and give us a call at 954-452-4590 to get started.
Dr. Nina Coletta has been practicing Podiatric medicine for nearly 20 years and is the owner of Plantation Wellness Center. For the past 30 years, Dr. Coletta has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. Her passion for health and wellness, along with a strong desire to help her patients live healthy lifestyles, led to the selection of Ideal Protein as her platform of choice for weight loss.