If you like to spend your summers lounging on the beach, soaking up the sun's rays and basking in the heat, that coveted "healthy glow" may be your goal. But if you still want your skin to look like you're in your 30s when you're 40 or 50, it is time to seek some shade and change some of your sun care habits so your skin will glow with health and not sun damage. Unfortunately, that "healthy tan" is a sign that your skin is already suffering.
Proper sun care not only keeps your body healthy, it also helps you maintain younger looking skin. Without sun damage to spur on wrinkles, fine lines and a dehydrated complexion, you can remain looking your best for years to come. Here are some tips for how to age gracefully without the hindrance of Mr. Sun.
Wear SPF every day. Even if the sun isn't shining. Plenty of natural beauty products and moisturizers already contain SPF, which is fine for everyday use. However, if you're going to be in the sun for extended periods of time, you need to slick on at least SPF 30 (though higher numbers are better), and reapply often. Look for a label on the bottle that says "broad spectrum" for the best protection. Why? The number one cause of "natural" aging is sun damage. Sun damage can lead to wrinkles and saggy skin, not to mention "age" spots and other changes in your skin tone.
Wear protective gear. This means, when you absolutely must be out in the sun, wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, UV-resistant clothing, and sunglasses. Why? UV rays cause damage to the dermal layers by destroying your skin's collagen and elastin (which are the things that allow skin to bounce back from facial expressions and remain smooth). This damage thins out the skin, and when these abnormal cells begin accumulating, they form wrinkles. Keeping your body covered prevents this damage.
Stay away from tanning beds. Nothing could be worse for your skin than intentionally focusing UV rays on it. A tan is a sign of damaged - not healthy - skin. Why? When your skin is getting too many harmful rays, a tan is the way it tries to protect itself from additional damage. In addition, many people use tanning beds as a way to get a "base tan" before going to the beach or other sunny location, thinking it will prevent them from getting sunburned. In fact, a tan is not able to prevent sunburn anywhere near as well as a good sunscreen will.
Apply your anti-wrinkle cream. While you can't undo sun damage, you may be able to prevent wrinkles by applying an anti aging wrinkle cream or anti wrinkle skin cream after exposure. Why? Anti wrinkle cream contains antioxidants and ingredients that reduce harmful free radicals and prevent wrinkles from forming.