It sure is tempting to head to the beach and catch some rays. Chances are, there’s been times that you’ve nixed the sunscreen in favour of a golden glow from head to toe. Unfortunately, the sun is blasting a little these days, and soaking in the sun just doesn’t have the same effect. Instead of brandishing you with some hot hued skin, your left with an increased chance of skin cancer that isn’t something to seek out.
Though you may already know, our skin is the largest organ in our body, and the most vulnerable, as well. In the last three decades alone, the rates of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has doubled. And that’s not all — up to fifty percent of Americans develop at least one type of skin cancer before they reach the age of sixty-five.
The good news is there are plenty of preventative skin safety methods as well as natural skincare products we can use, especially important in the summer months when we spend more time outdoors. (Note that we need to equally take care of our skin in the winter; we just tend to be outdoors and expose more skin in the hot heat of the summertime).
Use Sunscreen. All the time.
Sunscreen should be used frequently, and lots of it, too. You should slather it on about 30 minutes before heading outdoors, and ensure your brand of choice includes an ingredient such as Parsol 1789, which is helps keep UV damage away. In addition, to keep your skin healthy and nourished, your daily skincare routine should involve cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.
Even Where You Think You Don’t Need It
Especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm, you should be aware that the sun is at its worst. The thing is, your clothes don’t protect you–in fact, those UV rays can head right on through. Before getting dressed in the morning, apply sunscreen first, so it’s protecting all of your body — not just those exposed.
Look for Moles
Talk to your doctor about how to check for moles. Check monthly, and make it a part of your visits for physicals. Skin cancer doesn’t just have to be on a likely exposed area, like a shoulder or face, so be aware of new moles and marks, including changes in anything that you might see. If something looks questionable, head to a demotologist.
Think of the Food
There’s always a tie in to food, and this is the one for protecting your skin. Foods that are rich in lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin C are home to three antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, which has been linked to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.
Another anti-inflammatory compound, resveratrol, is found in the skins of grapes and berries, and has been linked to reducing the chances of skin cancer cells from growing. You can also add some herbs and spice, many of which are linked to reducing inflammation, such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, and rosemary. Curcumin, found in turmeric, also helps with reducing chances of melanoma. Green tea is also a hero, with polyphenols that can help prevent UV radiation-induced skin cancer.
Food cures your body from the inside out but it can also work externally. For example, putting on an oat mask can reduce redness.
Avoid Chemical Peels
Chemical peels, especially a having a deep TCA peel at home, are a great tool for boosting collagen and elastin, to keep your skin young and fight sun damage, but avoid applying acids to your skin in the summer months. It’s a dangerous practice that could lead to serious issues, including skin cancer if you don’t use sunscreen. Talk to a dermatologist to decide when it is best to start with chemical peels. Also avoid anything containing retinoids your skin is getting exposed to the sun.
Natural self-tanners aren’t what they used to be (read: bright orange splotchy messes). Opt for a natural glow instead, taking care to exfoliate first and follow the directions exactly. To brighten up your face, try a bronzer, too, for a sun-kissed look with less make-up.