The Dark Side of Sunbathing Indulgence

It would be an extremely difficult task to find someone living in South Florida who isn’t exposed to the sun on a regular basis.  We live in one of the few states in which people can enjoy the sun almost all year long, and for us Floridians it’s often part of our regular routine.  All the outdoor activities the sunshine state offers are just too much fun to not do a few here and there.  Whether you choose the beach, the pool, the backyard, or the tennis court, and whether your favorite activity is enjoying time with family or friends, reading a book, or just lying around relaxing, it’s likely that you spend hours out in the sun every month.

Indulging ourselves in the warm sun rays might make us feel better and energized.  A nice tan surely makes us look good and radiant, for a few days at least.  We like it so much that we usually forget, or ignore, the risks that cumulative sun exposure can lead to.  Some of these risks include cellular damage (that’s to your skin, not your phone), early wrinkling, uneven skin tone, age spots,  actinic keratosis (a scaly or crusty patch of skin also known as solar keratosis), and skin cancer.  Any of these can manifest throughout our body, but certainly our face is the one place we should care the most about.

What should you do to protect yourself from the sun?

Of course, we could suggest that you stay out of the sun during the strong sunlight hours between 10am and 4pm, but we really don’t expect you to follow this excellent advice completely.  So here are a few other ideas to keep your skin healthy and prevent or treat sun-damaged skin:

  • Avoid the strong sunlight hours between 10am and 4pm.  (There, we said it again!)  The middle of the day is when the most risk to your skin occurs.
  • Use a hydrating sunscreen of at least SPF 30.  An excellent one that we recommend is Murad Waterproof Sunblock SPF30.  It has pomegranate extract, an anti-oxidant that destroys the free-radicals that cause skin aging.  Be careful for many other sunscreens that often promote free-radical damage that hurts your skin.
  • Apply a Vitamin C cream prior to using sunscreen   Murad has some Vitamin C creams (even a body cream) that will, among other things, promote collagen formation which keeps skin more youthful.
  • If you feel that you’ve had too much sun exposure, use a soothing product that contains aloe vera, a natural way to help hydrate sun-damaged skin.
  • See your esthetician about getting a facial that includes an “anti-free-radical mask” that has an antioxidant formulation to protect from sun damage.
  • Finally, for skin that has been sun-damaged over years and years of being in the sun, your local esthetician will have a variety of treatments that can help restore at least some of the youthful appearance that you had prior to all that sun exposure.   From microdermabrasion to various peels and collagen treatments, your esthetician can recommend what is right for your particular skin type and skin condition.

For more information, comment below, send us an email, or schedule an appointment if you’re in the Boca Raton or Palm Beach areas.

Feel great in your skin, and take good care of it!

Angela for Facial Fitness of Boca Raton

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