Simple ways to protect your skin

Your skin is your immune system’s first line of defense from infections, so it is important to take good care of it. Daily exposure to toxins in the environment and the sun’s rays can put you at risk for premature aging of the skin or developing skin cancer. You can take steps to protect your skin so you can decrease your risk of damaging it.

Below are some ways you can protect your skin every day:


Apply sunscreen

 The sun can be damaging to the skin if left unprotected. So apply plenty of sunscreen before spending time in the sun in order to prevent sunburn. Also, it’s not just your face you need to pay attention to—don’t forget about your ears, feet, and eyelids. Since sunscreen wears off after a certain period of time, it’s important to remember to reapply, so you have continuous sun protection.

Wear protective clothing

Sunscreen is great support when battling the sun, but it has its limitations. In order to protect your scalp, wear a hat when you are in the sun. You can also wear sunglasses to help protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.  If you plan to spend an extended period of time outside, consider wearing sun-protective clothing.

Give your skin a rest

Your skin is hard at work protecting your body from the elements, so consider spending some time in the shade to give your skin a break. If you are at the beach, it is important to try to spend some time out of the sun—find a beautiful tree to lounge under or bring your own shade by investing in an umbrella or tent to bring with you.

Stay hydrated

Make sure that your skin is properly hydrated to help your skin withstand daily exposure to the sun and the environment. By drinking a lot of water and applying lotion after showering or washing your hands, you can keep your skin moisturized. Not only will your skin be able to protect itself better when properly hydrated, but it will look better too!

Visit the dermatologist

Just as you would go to the doctor for a physical, you should visit the dermatologist to have your skin checked. The dermatologist can be instrumental in detecting early signs of skin cancer, such as abnormal moles or sunspots.

Healthy skin can help you maintain good overall health and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. The sun seems to be getting stronger and stronger, so a greater effort is needed to prevent damage to your skin. Protecting your skin from the elements will help reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Sources

The Mayo Clinic, Skin care: 5 tips for healthy skin, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237.

The Skin Cancer Foundation, Sun Protection, accessed April 7, 2014, http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection.

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