TIPS TO KEEP SKIN YOUTHFUL
As seasonal sun exposure ramps up, so does Free Radical activity which can lead to premature aging in the form of wrinkles, age spots, inflammation and even skin cancer.
While daily sunscreen application is a well known method to prevent free radical damage, there are some not-so-obvious ways you can avoid permanent sun damage.
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Skip the tan...
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SKIP THE TAN
It's a common myth that tanning can prevent summer sun damage. In reality, tanning is the result of sun damage taking place, and the body's natural response to overexposure to UVA/UVB rays from the sun. While it's tempting to go to the tanning bed for a "base" before hitting the beach, a better and longterm alternative for better looking skin as you age is to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of no less than SPF 30 throughout the day.
Broad Spectrum sunscreens will block UVA/UVB rays while letting other less harmful rays through, which can still result in a healthy tan. Chemical, cream-based sunscreens are known for absorbing more of the sun's rays, while mineral powder sunscreens are notorious for reflecting the sun, and thus providing more effective protection against sun damage.
Wether it's in your cleanser or with an antioxidant serum, ingredients like vitamin C can provide Free Radical defense and are great to incorporate after sun exposure.
What is Free Radical defense?
Free Radicals are unstable molecules produced by the sun pollution and even hormones that are found within our skin. Specifically, Free Radicals are detected in our skin cells when the cells effectively "lose" an electron. This is what Free Radicals do – they "steal" electrons from healthy skin cells to stabilize themselves and in turn, these now mutated cells replicate and manifest as age spots, hyperpigmentation and crepey, aged-looking skin.
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It can be obvious to drink more water when it's hot out, but it may not be so obvious to work on methods to retain that water and set your body up for maximum success. Limiting alcohol and coffee are well-known ways to avoid dehydrating your body. You can also eat more hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables to naturally replenish your hydraton levels without carrying around a gallon of water.
It may also seem obvious, but even just a 20-minute nap can be the difference between looking sunken, tired and gloomy – and bright awake and ready for the day. Easier said than done, we know... But 10-minute deep breathing exercises and meditation can be other ways to reduce stress and feel rested throughout the day. Rest is also your body's best bet at quickly getting over inflammation in the form of sunburns, as sleep is the time your skin cels regenerate the most.
Be sure to apply an antioxidant serum after sun exposure to reduce free radical damage while you rest.
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