How to Avoid Premature Skin Aging and Protect From the Sun’s Harmful and Damaging Rays

While an even tan may give you a healthy-looking glow, it’s not necessarily a smart choice for your skin. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays can undo even the best skincare routine and increase your risk of cancer, early aging and many other problems. The good news is that you don’t have to stay indoors completely. Getting some rays can be very healthy, provided that you combine your exposure with appropriate protection and a good anti-aging care routine.

Reducing Exposure

The first step to preventing damage from the sun is to reduce your overall exposure. That means staying out of midday sunlight and wearing protective clothing when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you can, spend your time in the sun before 10 am or after 4 pm. During the winter, you may be able to go out closer to noon with no problems.

When staying in during the middle of the day isn’t practical, wear sunglasses with UV protection and choose loose-fitting clothing with a tight weave to protect your arms and legs. One option that works better than many anti-aging products is to wear a hat with a brim at least 4 inches wide. This type of hat shades your face and prevents the sun from damaging your skin.

Correct Sunscreen Use

If you enjoy outdoor sports or other activities, you may not be able to stay out of the sun or wear protective clothing. Sunscreen is your next line of defense. When applied properly and used as part of a good skincare routine, sunscreen prevents damage that can result in wrinkles, dry skin, enlarged pores and even skin cancer.

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Always use a sunscreen that provides a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15 or greater. Broad-spectrum options are a good addition to your skincare products, since they protect from both UV-A and UV-B rays. Put the sunscreen on at least half an hour before you go into the sun, covering all areas of your body. Don’t forget to protect your nose, eyelids and lips. Use about one fluid ounce to cover your whole body.

Every two to three hours, put on more sunscreen. Re-apply more often if you have been swimming or working out heavily. In tropical climates or at higher elevations, increase the SPF rating of the products you choose. The sun’s rays are stronger in these locations and can do a lot of damage before you realize it.

Anti-Aging Care Routine

Choosing a good skincare routine can help support the use of sunscreen and protective clothing to keep your skin looking young. Make sure you clean your skin carefully using gentle products once to twice per day. Never use products that contain harsh cleansers. Avoid scrubbing at your skin, which can irritate it. Choose anti-aging moisturizers designed not to clog the pores. These products will counteract the sun’s drying effects without causing blemishes. Make sure to drink plenty of water; hydrated skin is healthier skin.

You can even pick skincare products that have sunscreen built-in. These won’t protect you if you intend to spend hours under the noon sun, but they will provide anti-aging action during a normal day’s exposure. You can find moisturizers, cosmetics and many other products designed with a little extra protection built-in.

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Protecting your skin from the damaging action of the sun’s rays doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember to choose the right products, avoid the very strongest sunlight, and use protective clothing or sunscreen when you can’t avoid exposure. The result could be beautiful, healthy skin that looks and feels much younger.