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Protecting Your Skin From Sun Damage

 

Did you know that sun damage accounts for ninety percent of the visual signs of aging! The skin is exposed to oxidative damage from UV radiation and predisposes you to accelerated aging of the skin and skin cancer. Remember: It is always easier to prevent sun damage than it is to reverse its effects your skin. 

Here are some suggestions for protecting your skin:

1. Many people mistakenly assume that they can apply sunscreen with the highest SPF rating and then stay out in the sun all day without reapplying. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors.

2. Wear a natural, zinc oxide-based sunscreen that provides a physical barrier without hormone-disrupting chemical ingredients like oxybenzone. Zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum protection by physically (vs. chemically) reflecting UV rays. Avoid brands that say “nanoparticles” on the packaging. Shop sunscreens here.

3. Foods can affect how your skin responds to the sun.  Your skin naturally produces antioxidants; however, as your skin ages, these antioxidant levels often decrease. Enjoy lots of colorful, organic fruits and vegetables that are filled with antioxidants and help support your skin.

4. Photosensitivity is a side effect of some medications like Benadryl, Tetracycline and Accutane. If you take any of these, take extra precautions and be sure to wear a sunscreen.

5. Elevated estrogen levels and other hormonal changes can cause a heightened photosensitivity which can lead to hyperpigmentation. Women who are taking birth control pills or hormone replacement drugs may also experience similar side effects of dark spots on the skin. Again, if you take these, protect your skin even more by reapplying sunscreen more often and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Enjoy your summer and remember to protect your skin out there!

 

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