I can barely bring myself to say this… but summer is winding down! Luckily it is going to be a beautiful last weekend of August (today being over 30 degrees C) and I plan to embrace every moment of what is left by spending as much time outside as I can.
I have been really good at remembering my sunscreen this summer while I am out in the sun, but I didn’t really realize how sunscreen is only part of the equation to protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Although I love being in the sun so much, I’ve really come to appreciate preventative measures to preserve the youth of my skin.
UVA and UVB are both types of rays that come from the sun. They age skin cells and damage their DNA causing skin damage including wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches (sun spots), and worse – skin cancer. These rays are strongest during the time period that most of us would be laying on the beach, from 10 am to 4 pm. Our exposure to the sun’s UV rays also add up so you do not have to be suntanning for long periods of time to be affected.
Even though summer is almost over, UV rays can still reach the skin in other seasons but have less strength (unless you are heading for a winter vacation closer to the equator!). I wear SPF on my face all year round. Here are some other things to consider if you are spending time outside for the last bit of summer or have already booked your winter vacation down south.
What You Wear
Clothing and accessories can help protect you from UV rays. Unfortunately I can not bring myself to wearing a long sleeved shirt and pants when it’s hot outside, but I will wear a big brimmed hat and sunglasses.
What You Put On Your Skin
We all know that sunscreens are important for helping protect our skin from UV rays. I’ve learned a lot more about sunscreen this season thanks to the team from Reviews.com. Let me tell you, I was getting it all wrong with both the type I was choosing and how I was applying it (and how often…). Find the best sunscreens of 2017 found by Reviews.com here. I currently am using Badger Balm’s Lavender Sunscreen SPF 30 that was one of their top 4 picks. I also use a tinted moisturizer from NARS with an SPF 30 as my daily face makeup.
What You Eat
I have said it many times. Your diet, what you eat and drink, is a large influence on the health of your skin and can help protect its youthfulness from the inside out. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been shown to help provide further protection to the skin’s cells from damaging UV rays. There is a long list of foods that can boost your skin’s natural sun protection but here are a few to consider:
- Tomatoes (especially tomato paste) and watermelon have a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which research has shown to help protect from UV damage.
- Carrots and sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, another skin protecting antioxidant.
- Foods rich in antioxidant Vitamin C (also needed in the production of collagen) – citrus fruits, berries, peppers, greens, watermelon, apples, cauliflower, broccoli
- Nuts and seeds (especially sunflower seeds) include another powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E
- Dark Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, collards, beet greens, romaine lettuce
The key – eat a variety of unprocessed plant based foods, including fruits and vegetables, daily to help your skin glow from the inside out. I really like boosting my beauty nutrient intake through smoothies and smoothie bowls in the summertime when the heat makes me less hungry. I can pack a variety of nutrients without feeling like I am force feeding myself as they are easy to digest and taste amazing! Enjoy the last weekend of summer!