Do You Love the Sun More than Your Skin Does?

Lisa Benest, MD
Article by
Burbank Dermatologist

The skin is more than just a pretty face – it is the body’s largest organ. It protects the body against heat, sunlight, injury and infection. Over time, exposure to ultraviolet rays (from the sun or indoor tanning) can damage the skin, causing wrinkles, blotchiness and sagging. This exposure results in premature aging and about 90 percent of all skin cancers. Following these steps can help you achieve and maintain beautiful skin throughout your life:

1. DRINK MORE WATER
Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. This will help hydrate your cells and keep your complexion at its best.

2. DAYTIME MOISTURIZERS
Use daytime moisturizers, foundations or creams with UV protection. The best time to apply a moisturizer to the skin is immediately following a bath or shower.

3. MINIMIZE SUN EXPOSURE.
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, especially between noon and 2 pm. When in the sun, wear a broad rimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protective lenses.

4. STOP SMOKING.
Smoking causes premature aging and wrinkling of the face.

5. EAT YOUR VEGGIES.
The saying “You are what you eat” is truer now than ever. Studies show that food not only nourishes the body but also has a marked impact on the skin. Skin wrinkling can be influenced by the types of foods people eat. Higher intakes of meat, dairy and sugar products create more stress and damage on our bodies but high intakes of vegetables, legumes, olives & fruit protects our skin against this damage.

6. TAKE YOUR FISH OILS.
Ingestion of fish oils for 3 months was found to significantly increase one’s ability to tolerate the sun.

7. NOURISH YOUR SKIN FROM THE OUTSIDE IN.
More evidence confirms that certain vitamin and antioxidant extracts, when applied topically, improves the health and appearance of the skin. Look for vitamins C & E, CoEnzyme Q10 and green tea extract to not only improve the skin’s appearance, but also to protect the skin from precancerous spots.