This is a perfect time to get your skincare routine ready. Getting back outside is good for your mental and physical health, but avoiding painful sunburns and poor skin health will make the summer even better. Here are our top five summer skincare tips.

beautiful skin photo

Finding the best sunblock

Everyone knows that regular sunscreen can help prevent some skin cancers, but the type of sunscreen you use is also important. If you’re going to be in the water, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof.

However, sunscreen ingredients can also influence sunscreen selection. Studies have linked sunblocks with oxybenzone, homosalate, and octocrylene to an increased risk of skin cancer. The

The Environmental Working Group limits oxybenzone to 2.2% and homosalate to 1.4% in sunscreens. Zinc-based mineral sunscreens may be a better choice.

2. Applying sunscreen

Correctly applying sunscreen can help keep you healthy and safe. Apply chemical sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside. A mineral-based sunscreen should start working immediately.

Even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin areas. The summer sun can burn even on overcast days. Adults need about an ounce—enough to fill a shot glass—to cover all sun-exposed areas. Reapply after swimming or sweating, as even waterproof sunscreen can wash off.

3. Avoiding too much sun

Limiting direct sun exposure helps skin health. Avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on bright days is recommended. Getting enough vitamin D by going outside early in the morning or late at night is one of the easiest ways to stay safe. If you must be out during peak hours, dress appropriately and seek shade.

Sand or snow can reflect sunlight from the ground up, causing a sunburn. If you’re going to the beach, bring sunscreen and an umbrella for shade.

Skin-friendly foods

When you think of skin health, you often think of the sun’s effects. But what we eat matters just as much for healthy skin. Consider foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Tomatoes, carrots, and apricots are examples of antioxidant-rich produce. Nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and olive oil contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce sun damage. Antioxidant-rich foods like dark leafy greens and berries help skin health. Eating in-season produce is even better for your skin because the compounds are fresher. Stay hydrated, especially on hot days.

5. Sunburn Relief

If you do get a sunburn, aftercare is vital to your recovery. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to recognize early signs of burn. Redness may not appear immediately, but getting to the shade at the first sign of discomfort can help prevent a burn.

Extra rest, sleep, and hydration will help you recover from a sunburn. Take it easy for a few days and use an aloe vera or soy salve to soothe skin pain. But avoid fatty oils and cream lotions that trap heat. When in doubt, opt for a cooling after-sun product. Ibuprofen or aspirin for pain and swelling can help. Let blisters heal naturally without popping. Cool baths or showers can also help ease some of the pain.

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