1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. 

The most important thing you can do for your skin is protect it from the harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer and promote premature aging.  The key is to make sure to use a sunscreen labeled “broad-spectrum”. These protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Other important rules to remember include reapplying every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating, trying to stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm when the sun is at its strongest, and seeking shade whenever possible.  Also, keep in mind that the average person needs 1oz. (or approximately 1 shot glass full) of sunscreen to cover their entire body- in this case, more is always better.

2.  Increase your antioxidants.  

Antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E, polyphenols, niacinamide, resveratrol just to name a few) can help to shield the skin from environmental aggressors before they wreak havoc. By limiting free radical production caused by UV radiation, antioxidants can help to calm inflammation, prevent, reverse, and correct the visible signs of sun damage.  Antioxidants can be found in many foods, but topical preparations and now even oral supplementation with products like Heliocare are proving essential to help the body maintain its ability to protect itself.

3.  Cleanse and moisturize.

The increased buildup of summer sweat, sunscreen use, and drying effects of summertime heat can cause our skin to lose its glow and become dull. To combat these dulling effects, proper cleansing, exfoliation (with chemical or mild physical exfoliants), and moisturization are key in the summer.  Cleansers and products containing alpha hydroxy acids and/or beta hydroxy acids can serve a dual purpose when used for cleansing as they are naturally exfoliating. Lighter weight moisturizers tend to be more well tolerated in the summer as the heat can make us feel oily and sweaty. A great addition to your skincare routine is hyaluronic acid containing products.  By increasing hydration and repair, these typically lightweight topicals have become a mainstay to restore depleted moisture on those sticky summer days.

4. Use a self-tanner for that healthy glow 

Considered a safe alternative to sunbathing, self-tanners have come a long way.  Gone are the days where the only options are an abnormal orange stain. Today’s self-tanners allow the option of subtle to deep color and provide instant results.  The use of sunless tanning products is generally considered safe by the FDA when used as directed. Do your skin a favor and take advantage of this safe alternative.

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