Before you head out for your summer adventures, here are a few steps to help prep your skin.
Taking good care of your skin is always in season, but as the weather turns warmer, we shed our clothing layers and spend more time outside, the heat can make us sweat in places we never thought possible. Add in all the salt and chlorine from swimming, and your skin can really take a beating.
Fortunately, good skin is an inside job, as well as an outside one.
Eat your tomatoes: Lycopene, found in high concentrations in canned tomatoes and tomato paste (more so than in fresh tomatoes), is especially adept at fighting off the sun’s UV rays and protecting against sunburn. You can also get lycopene from other red-hued food such as watermelon and pink grapefruit.
Up your antioxidants: When you consume fruits and veggies such as kale, beans, red cabbage, blueberries and spinach, you’re getting a powerful dose of antioxidants, which fight free radicals from UV rays that can cause cancer. Maybe you’re thinking, “Ho hum, you sound like my mom.” But wait, there’s even more good news: dark chocolate also contains antioxidants.
Get smooth: Because hair grows in cycles, you’ll want to stagger at least three appointments for laser-hair removal at your nearest OrangeTwist. This technique works best on people who have a dark hair/light skin combo, but those who have lighter hair can also see results with a few extra targeted treatments. You can laser anywhere you want bare of hair, such as your legs, legs, back, armpits, face and bikini-line area–but stay away from the eyelid or surrounding areas. Laser-removal lasts much longer than shaving, and grow-back is softer and without the stubble from a razor-cut hair.
If you have darker skin or really light hair, other methods might be more effective.
Self-tanning: The safest way to tan is to stay out of the sun. Self-tanners have come a long way from the orange-tinted days of old, but they won’t actually protect you from the UV rays. Make sure you use a proper sunscreen on top of your golden glow. The Mayo Clinic cautions us to steer clear of self-tanning pills: they can cause liver damage, hives and impair your vision.
Bust breakouts: Sweat and bacteria can get trapped in your pores, causing body acne and the dreaded “backne.” Use a body wash that contains pimple-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to keep those pores clear and clean.
Of course, some of the more fun ways to get your skin ready for summer are to accessorize with wide-brimmed hats, polarized sunglasses and UV-protective clothing, which can help shield your skin from the sun. But these things can’t do all the heavy lifting—your broad-spectrum, high SPF sunscreen is your best summer love.