Sun Protection Tips for Healthy Skin

It is important to protect your skin from the potential harmful side effects of sun exposure. Follow these tips to maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

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It is important to protect your skin from the potential harmful side effects of sun exposure. Follow these tips to maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Follow these tips to maintain healthy, beautiful skin in the summer sun:

1. Cover Up

Don't like the idea of long shirts and pants in the hot sun? Think light weight, loose fitting clothes that will not only keep you cool, but will also protect your skin. Tightly-woven, dry, dark fabrics offer the best protection according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can even look for clothing with a determined ultraviolet protection factor, based on the fabrics, dyes and chemicals used.

“Loose-fitting, light-weight clothes will keep you cool while protecting your skin.”

The CDC also advised wearing a large-brimmed hat that will shade the top of your head, face, neck and ears, and sunglasses to reduce the risk of cataracts and protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes. Properly covering up with the right clothing and accessories is the first and simplest line of defense against the sun.

2. Use Sunscreen

In addition to wearing protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, one should always wear sunscreen to protect against the potential harms of ultraviolent radiation and keep skin healthy. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin against both UVB and UVA rays, as explained by the Food and Drug Administration.

Be aware of “waterproof” sunscreen. All types of sunscreen must be applied at least every two hours and any time after swimming, sweating or toweling off in order for them to work properly. So when choosing a sunscreen, focus on broad spectrum coverage and always apply often and generously to yield the greatest protection against ultraviolet radiation. 

Sunscreen should be worn with a hat and sunglasses for the best protection.
Sunscreen should be worn with a hat and sunglasses for the best protection.

Aging skin may not be life threatening, but it is something that most people want to avoid. In addition to health concerns, sunscreen is also important for preserving bright, healthy looking skin. Unprotected sun exposure can cause wrinkling, discolored age spots, sagging and a leathery appearance, said the Skin Cancer Foundation. So use sunscreen for cosmetic purposes, too, and support all-around healthy skin.

3. Hydrate

The Pritikin Diet and Eating Plan does not require excessive intake of water, as you should really just drink when you are thirsty. What is important is that when in the sun, you pay special attention to your thirst since your body sweats and loses water faster in the heat.

Staying hydrated in the sun is not just important for your overall health, but also for your dermatological health. The National Institute of Biotechnology Information issued a study that aimed to quantify the impact of water intake in 49 women's skin physiology. Dietary water intake seemed to have been related to the skin's ability to preserve a younger, healthier appearance, as it assisted elasticity and recovery after stress and deformation, such as sunburn. Thus, it is important to stay away from caffeine and alcohol – especially in the heat – and hydrate by drinking plenty of water.

4. Uphold a Healthy Diet Plan

It is important to cover up, wear sunscreen and hydrate when outdoors, but maintaining beautiful, healthy skin despite the risks of excessive sun exposure really starts indoors – in the kitchen.

“Pigments found in produce are believed to create a more colorful skin tone.”

Scientists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland found what we at Pritikin call a “beautiful skin diet“. By adding just one to two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, subjects produced more vibrant and radiant skin. Cartenoids, the red, orange and yellow pigments found in a variety of produce including peppers, tomatoes, and even dark leafy greens like spinach, are believed to create a more colorful skin tone, so you don't have to skip the sunscreen for glowing skin this summer.  Lather up and eat up for the best of both worlds – colorful and healthy skin.

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