Summertime Skin Care
Summertime Skin Care
Summer is a great time for people to engage in outdoor activities. Warmer temperatures and sunshine often lure us outside for swimming, boating, biking, hiking, sightseeing, picnics, gardening and much more. For those in occupations such as farming, construction, and landscaping, extensive time in the sun may be unavoidable. These activities may lead to increased exposure of the skin to sun and other weather elements. We enjoy spending time fishing or at the beach but it is important to protect your skin on the outside with a high quality sunscreen but more important protect from the inside out with good nutrition and important vitamins and minerals.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and makes up about 16 percent of overall body mass. The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, serves as a protective barrier against environmental threats, such as infectious pathogens, chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. It makes sense to take care of our skin so it can take care of us.
Various health authorities recommend reducing our exposure to UV light due to the potential risk of skin cancer. However, nearly 1 in 3 Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency that may be caused by inadequate sun exposure. Insufficient sun exposure has been linked to an increased risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and more. So, too much sun exposure which causes sunburn can increase our risk of skin cancers, but having a high level of vitamin D gives us an 80% reduction in all cancers. How much healthy sun exposure should we get is difficult to determine because it varies based on skin pigmentation, latitude, time of day and time of year. A good guideline would be to get 20 minutes of sun exposure to as much bare skin as you can expose to the sun daily. It is important to avoid prolonged sun exposure that would cause sunburn.
For overall skin health, it’s important to get proper nutrition. Fruits, vegetables, and other sources of antioxidants, such as green tea, dark chocolate, and nuts, are a basic foundation for healthy skin. Vitamins A, C, D, and E help the body protect itself against damaging free radicals.
Some good sources of these vitamins include
- Vitamin A: Beef liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach
- Vitamin C: Kale, broccoli, red peppers, oranges, brussels sprouts and strawberries
- Vitamin D: Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), cheese, eggs and mushrooms.
- Vitamin E; Almond, spinach, sunflower seeds, avocados butternut squash and Swiss chard.