Guest Post By: Dr. Alan J. Parks, founder of Eastside Dermatology & DermWarehouseFor many people, summer is the time to get tan, and to them, tan is beautiful. People love the thought of getting a little color after a long winter of pasty white skin, however, what you think may make your skin look beautiful in the short term will most likely have very negative effects in the long term. After almost 30 years of practicing dermatology and seeing countless patients suffering from premature aging, and even worse, skin cancer, the one thing I hear the most is that my patients wish they would have taken better care of their skin when they were younger – stayed out of the sun, paid more attention to wearing sunscreen – so that they wouldn’t have to worry about these problems later in life. So, this summer when you’re thinking about how to keep your skin looking beautiful, “tan” should be the last word that comes to mind. Here are five tips about how to keep your skin beautiful AND safe this summer.
Wear sunscreen every day
This should be your number one goal for your summer beauty. Wearing sunscreen is important all year round, but especially in the summer when UV rays are strongest. Apply sunscreen every day, even if you’ll just be outside for a few minutes. Even a very short time in the sun can have negative effects. You should apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) 30 minutes before leaving your house, and reapply every two hours (or more if you’re sweating a lot or are in the water). Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your hands, feet, neck, ears, and lips. Remember that every sunburn increases your chances of contracting skin cancer and wearing sunscreen on a regular basis can greatly protect from this.
Get rid of your obsession with being tan
As I mentioned before, your behavior now will affect your looks in the future. Sure, it may seem nice to have a little color, but try to think 20 years ahead to the wrinkles, the age spots, and the other health problems your tan may be causing. A tan lasts just a few days but you will see the effects far into the future. Many places throughout the world think white skin is beautiful (in fact, there are tons of skin whitening products out there!). They have the right idea and the right mindset. Just think about how envious people will be in twenty years when they’re complaining about they’re wrinkles and you don’t have any!
One of the best things you can do for your skin is keep it moisturized. Keep in mind that skin won’t be as dry over the summer as it is in the winter, so you may want to use a lighter moisturizer to make up for a little more oil in the skin.
It’s important to drink a lot of water, especially when it’s hot outside. When you’re not drinking enough, not only will your skin suffer, your whole body will suffer as well. You won’t feel good and you won’t look good. Carry around a big bottle of water with you and make sure you drink the whole thing. Every day.
Summer is a great time to go light on your makeup. When it’s very hot outside, makeup tends to clump up or melt off anyway, so why not give your skin a break over the summer. Use a tinted moisturizer with SPF (in addition to regular sunscreen) and a little mascara and you should be good to go. Your face will feel light and refreshed without tons of makeup on.
This summer, focus your beauty routine on skin protection, hydration, and a beautiful, natural look. Not only will you look gorgeous this summer, but forming sun-safe habits will keep your skin looking healthy and young for many summers to come! Be smart about the sun. I promise, 20 years from now, you’ll thank your younger self for it.
Dr. Alan J. Parks founded Eastside Dermatology & DermWarehouse. Dr. Parks is board certified in dermatology with clinical interests including cosmetic and surgical dermatology, laser treatments, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and skin cancer surgery. Dr. Parks is a recipient of the American Academy of Dermatology Community Service Award for skin cancer screening and the Edmund D. Lowney Teaching Award for teaching dermatology residents.