After being cooped up all winter long, it’s probably safe to say that spending more time outdoors is at the top of your summer to-do list, but don’t be so quick to throw caution to the wind. While we all live for summer’s lazy, deliciously carefree days, avoiding lasting skin damage from the sun’s toxic ultraviolet rays requires some serious preparation. To help you get started, below are some of our favorite tips for healthier, brighter and all-around better skin all season long.
1. Never leave your home without a healthy dose of high-SPF sunscreen. Universally recognized as the gold standard in sun protection, sunscreen is the quintessential summer skin-care staple. For complete coverage against UVA and UVB rays in one easy application, be sure to grab a broad-spectrum formula.
2. Pucker up with SPF-infused lip balm. Like your face, your lips need a little extra help to fight off the sun’s powerful rays.
3. Apply more sunscreen every two hours and right away after sweating or swimming. If you’re wearing a water-resistant formula, check the label for exact rules on reapplying.
4. Use self-tanning bronzers to get a gorgeous golden glow with no strings attached. If you’re fair, build natural color slowly with foolproof gradual tanning lotions.
5. Exfoliate your face twice or three times a week. Spending hours outdoors leaves your complexion exposed to pollutants, pore-clogging dirt and other health-sapping environmental toxins. By gently lifting dead skin cells and debris, exfoliating brings it back to its naturally healthy base.
6. Apply a hydrating lotion from head to toe immediately after your daily shower to lock in a protective moisture barrier against summer’s drying weather.
7. Load up on healthy produce. Add this to the list of reasons why we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables: Packed with antioxidants, they help protect our skin from sun damage, aging and discoloration.
8. Find a fitness program you can love. Research shows that breaking a sweat on a regular basis boosts immunity from within, making your skin more powerful against a host of health risks, ranging from sun damage to toxins.
9. Rock your shades. Sunglasses, especially pairs with built-in UV protection, shield the delicate skin around your eyes from the sun’s dangerous reach – and future wrinkles!
10. Get the right body gear. Who said you have to stop at sunglasses? Clothes that carry UPF labels, which tell you how they hold up against penetrating UV rays, make it easy to find the perfect fit for your busy summer schedule.