Autumn Sun Safety
Summer may be over, but don’t put away your sunscreen and sunglasses just yet!
While summer is the time of year when you’re typically exposed to the highest levels of skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation, there can be high levels of UV radiation reaching you year-round. Sunscreen is recommended for all levels of UV exposure.
Regardless of what season you’re in, the day’s weather impacts your UV exposure.
Ultraviolet radiation levels are highest under clear skies, and over 90% of incoming UV radiation can penetrate light cloud cover. No matter how cool the temperature feels, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can still cause damage to the DNA in your skin within just a few minutes. Even though your jacket blocks some rays, every little bit of sun you feel on your face, neck, chest, ears or hands accumulates and can lead to the signs of aging as well as skin cancer. And those are the spots where skin cancer appears most often.
Using sun protection consistently from an early age is the strongest defense against developing skin cancer.
No person or method is perfect, though, and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Make sunscreen, a hat and UV-protective sunglasses a daily habit all year long.
As the weather shifts, so do our routines, all of which can impact skin. That can include such things as:
- Taking more baths
- Using hotter water
- Spending more time inside
- Drinking less water
Keep on top of skin’s seasonal changes with these simple tips and tricks.
1. Hot water can be damaging to skin, so try to keep your baths and showers warm instead.
2. Humid fall weather can increase breakouts and wind, rain, and cold can be harsh on skin. Protect your skin with moisturizer against the elements and help restore and balance sebum.
3. Don’t be fooled by cloudy days. Just because you don’t see the sun doesn’t mean its rays can’t still damage skin. Keep wearing sunscreen.
4. Hats, turtlenecks, and scarves can cause breakouts if not laundered regularly. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, wash these cold-weather accessories after each wear.
5. Don’t forget the basics. As the cool weather rolls in, so does the excitement of the approaching holidays. It’s easy to forget the importance of the most basic skin care step: cleansing. Use a pH-balanced gentle cleanser that maintains the skin’s delicate protective barrier.
6. Heaters and dry climates can dehydrate skin (yes, even oily complexions). Dehydration can cause everything from signs of aging to redness to clogged pores and breakouts. Continue to drink plenty of fluids. Adding skin-loving herbal teas is a great way to keep sipping through colder weather. Use moisturizer for your face, and thicker butters and lotions for the neck-down.
7. There are plenty of beauty foods still available in the fall, such as dark leafy greens, hard squashes, pomegranates, persimmons, pears, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Enjoy foods rich in healthy unsaturated fats, such as wild-caught salmon and olive oil. In moderation, these foods help keep the skin looking its best.
We can use this change in the season, with shorter days and more time inside, to our advantage. After all, skin health is the sum of our thoughts, diet, lifestyle, and how we care for it.
By caring for ourselves, we care for our skin. Using this quiet time to reflect and restore can help us maintain a healthy glow. “Me time” can be as simple as curling up with a book or stopping to take a deep breath. “Me time” can also involve a more planned activity, such as getting a peel, trying a new hobby, or going on an overnight getaway. Seize these precious moments that allow you to be you. A little time within goes a long way.