Contributing Author: Gentle HeronSummer is not the only time of year we should be mindful of taking good care of the vessels of our intellects and personalities. Without further ado...
1. Avoid sun overexposure.
Sunlight also enlarges melanocytes, pigment-containing cells. A smaller dose of sun may make your skin tan, but larger amounts can lead to patches of brown spots called age spots.
Another thing the sun does to your skin is release free radicals. These are harmful chemicals, unstable atoms, often oxygen, that have an unpaired electron. This imbalance in electric charge makes the free radicals highly chemically reactive. Free radicals can damage DNA, and this can lead to aging of body systems and development of skin cancers. (NOTE: Free radicals are also created by smoking and other environmental factors.)
The best way to avoid sun damage to skin is to avoid overexposure. Stay out of the sun during mid-day when the radiation is strongest. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB and has an SPF (sun protective factor) 30 or greater. Apply sunscreen every two hours; more frequently if you are sweating heavily or in water. You should also wear protective clothing and a hat to protect your scalp and face.
While some skin care products contain antioxidant ingredients to help fight the effects of free radicals, the best defense is to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables containing vitamins C and E. Good dietary sources of antioxidants include berries, carrots, spinach and broccoli.
2. Stop making faces.
3. Don’t smoke, or quit smoking.
Smoker’s skin wrinkles more easily that non-smoker’s skin. Smoking causes elastic skin fibers to thicken, which will increase sagging. The more you smoke, the worse the damage to your skin.
Please consider not smoking, or quitting if you do smoke. It will not only benefit your lungs, it will help your skin stay healthier.
4. Avoid skin irritants.
The best way to protect your skin from irritants is to avoid them, for instance by wearing gloves to clean house or wash dishes. If you have mild contact dermatitis, moisturizing your skin will make it feel better. If you have more problematic irritations, try using an antihistamine or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen). If the problem is severe, please contact your healthcare professional.
It is always a good idea to take care of the skin you're in!
Image Credits: Pixabay