The Summer sun can be brutal and wreak havoc on our skin, even in the often-cloudy Pacific Northwest! As we are spending more time outside this season, here are a few simple yet effective things you can do to protect your skin and decrease photo related aging and your risk of developing skin cancer from UV damage.
1. UV Protection Starts From Within
The foods you eat can seriously reduce your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer by supporting your skin’s ability to remain healthy and defend itself against too much sun.
- Include clean sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs), specifically omega-3, into your diet. EFA’s help your skin maintain its natural barrier function and reduce inflammation throughout the body, supporting skin’s natural ability to scavenge free radicals and reduce cellular damage. Excellent sources include and wild-caught or responsibly raised fish such as salmon and oysters and vegan sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, and non-GMO, organic soybeans.
- Eat more greens! Dark leafy greens, including kale and Swiss chard, are full of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to halt cell growth prompted by UV light exposure.
- Boost your intake of Vitamin C with red and orange fruits and veggies. Vitamin C can reduce the potential for sunburn, helps fight skin discoloration, boosts collagen production, and fights DNA damage from UV exposure.Swap that morning coffee for tea.
- Green Tea, in particular, is high in catechins, which have disease-preventing properties and protect against sunburn while tannic acid reduces the pain if you do get sunburned and ECGC’s protect against inflammation and long-term UV radiation damage.
2. Screen Your Skin From Sun
Two types of UV light can harm your skin — UVA, and UVB. UVA rays are what ages the skin and UVB rays are what burns the skin. Protect skin from both types of UV rays by limiting exposure and using a good, broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen.
- Use common sense, wear hats, and seek shade and limit the duration and time your exposure to minimize it during peak hours (10am-3pm in the summer) when possible.
- Opt for mineral-based sunscreens. When choosing a sunscreen, look for an option with clean ingredients – paraben and fragrance-free at least, and steering clear of chemical sunscreens. Spot them by looking at the Active Ingredients, which should only be zinc oxide or non-nano titanium dioxide. For the face, we recommend:
Right now at both Root locations, enjoy a complimentary Sunscreen + Skin Assessment + 2 Eminence SPF samples with any 75 minute (or longer) facial, no special code or booking needed.
3. Soothe Your Skin After Too Much Sun Exposure
- Aloe Vera gel is soothing and healing to the skin and is the perfect balm to apply if you’ve spent a bit too much time in the sun. Apply it directly from the leaf or use a natural formula, free of unnecessary added fragrance, color or other ingredients.
- Reach for essential oils. Peppermint essential oil is a natural painkiller and can help soothe a sunburn, while Lavender essential oil can reduce stinging, redness, and has been known to prevent peeling. Be sure to dilute them with water or apply sparingly with a damp, cold compress.
- Moisturize before and after exposure. Coconut oil is an inexpensive and versatile whole-body moisturizer that penetrates the skin more readily than some other oils. While NOT a substitute for sunscreen, it also offers low level, natural UV protection as well. Use coconut oil on skin pre-sunscreen and post-sun exposure to restore moisture and return moisture to dry skin.
- Seeing the signs of damage already done? Learn more about the tools available at Root Whole Body to help minimize pigmentation and fine lines and boost collagen production and firmness, including LED, Micro-current and Medi Facials using the Revitapen.
Get outdoors, enjoy the warm weather & sun, and soak up that vitamin D…just do it safely!