As we approach warmer weather we begin to look forward to outdoor good times, increased physical activity, lake and seashore fun, and just relaxing in the sun. With all the good things that warm weather brings, we need to consider how we keep our skin healthy and radiant during these warmer months of increased exposure and activity. In this time of year our skin’s health and appearance is challenged by increased sun exposure, outdoor humidity (whether dry or damp), and heightened physical activity with less rest.
The number one issue of this time of year is sun exposure. When Sheryl Crow sings, “I’m gonna soak up the sun,” don’t take that as medical advice. The single greatest factor by far that brings on premature aging of the skin is solar radiation – both UV and visible rays. Aging skin appearance is just part of the problem; later in life that solar radiation that felt so good and gave you a nice tan often produces basal cell carcinoma (cancer). From Providence Health Care … “Basal cell carcinoma (also called basal cell cancer) is the most common type of skin cancer. Basal cell cancer happens in older adults who have been exposed to UV rays longer. People with light skin tones and eyes are more at risk for sunburn, sun damage and skin cancer. Still, even people who tan and don’t burn are at a higher risk for skin cancer from UV exposure. And, while people of any ethnicity who have darker skin tones are less at risk, they can also be affected.” Have you had a severe sunburn in your youth? Research now tells us that people who have had at least five intense sunburns between ages 15 and 20 have a 68% higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, especially from ages 40 to 60.
Though the radiation level is reduced, even cloudy weather and shaded areas will still add to the radiation exposure. People are sometimes surprised when they get a bad sunburn during a cloudy day at the beach. So, the lesson is … even though the weather is warm and nice outside, protect your skin from the sun. Don’t rely solely on sunscreen. Some radiation will still get through and sunscreen can wipe off or wash off easily without your knowing. Keep in shade as much as you can. Especially protect your face and neck. Good antioxidants are also very helpful at preventing solar radiation damage. Many skin care specialists will tell you that topical antioxidants are as important as sunscreen in preventing solar damage. If you are exposed to the sun, a good After Sun skin care product will help quench the free radicals and mitigate the damage. Also, if you expect to be exposed, applying topical antioxidants beforehand will be helpful as well. Stemology Enviro/Expose Lotion is designed for both before and after sun exposure and will provide outstanding antioxidant protection. So, the lesson is … warmer weather means more outdoor activity which means more sun exposure. Be wise and save your skin from damage.
A second issue to be aware of is the humidity change that often occurs in summer weather. If you live in a dry, desert-like climate the summer heat will be especially drying. It is very important to not let the dryness of your skin get out of control. Dry skin (Xerosis), if not treated can become chronic and is also a significant predictor for atopic eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, demonstrating that dry skin requires attention prior to deteriorating into skin disease. Treating dry skin requires both water (hydration) and oils (lipids) be maintained at high levels in your skin. Using a good moisturizer that supplies both hydration and lipids is very important. Stemology’s Award-winning Moisture Complete is a full spectrum moisturizer that provides hydration, excellent oils, amino acids and intra-cellular hydrators, for the best performance attainable. This will beat the dryness of the summer heat and keep your skin smooth and supple. Don’t depend on moisturizing with sunscreen products. They are usually not the high quality you will need for proper moisturization. Don’t depend on drinking a lot of water either; research has shown that drinking water has only minor impact on skin hydration, especially at the epidermal level.
If you live in a humid summer climate, then dry skin is probably not an issue. However, don’t forget that skin needs oil as well as water. The humid air may provide good hydration, but you still may need oil for your skin if you are over thirty-five. Avoid thick, occlusive oils, which may block the water in the humid air from entering your skin and also not allow your skin to “breathe.” Stemology Renovare’ Facial Oil delivers an outstanding combination of light, non-greasy facial oils to promote skin well-being and produce your much needed ceramides for a healthy skin barrier. Many of these oils are also rich in antioxidants for better solar radiation protection.
Lastly, warmer weather usually means increased physical activity … sports, swimming, outdoor games, hiking. We are just more active in the summer. Strenuous and stressful activity also brings an increased amount of free radicals in your body. If left unchecked, these free radicals can cause harm to the cells of your body, and especially to your skin cells. Take good antioxidants orally to mitigate these free radicals and use topical antioxidants for your skin. These free radicals are just as damaging as those produced by solar radiation, so keep them in check with a good daily antioxidant regimen. All Stemology treatment products contain a rich suite of antioxidants to help provide the protection needed to fight free radicals.
May this information help you have a great summer … enjoy the warm weather, be active, look good, and stay healthy.