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Summer Skin Survival Guide: 5 Tips to Help Keep Your Skin Youthful All Season Long
Written by Amanda Beisel   

blue sky, blue ocean and and islandLong days, ice cold drinks, and lots of sun exposure: summer is here in all its glory. It’s the time all Canadians long for - but it can wreak havoc on your skin if you’re not careful. In fact, sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin aging. Sure, it feels great at the time, but is it worth the extra fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and rough texture? So, what can you do about it? You don’t have to be a hermit to keep your skin safe in the summer, just follow this Skin Survival Guide and you can have your cake and eat it too.

#1 - Toss the Sunscreen - Sunblock is your friend

Picking sun protection can be an overwhelming task. There are tons of choices, and it’s not easy understanding the differences. Here’s what you need to know: be sure to pick a SunBLOCK, and not a SunSCREEN. These 2 options protect your skin from the sun in very different ways and it’s important to understand the difference so you can make the right choice.

Sunscreen: The Unsafe Choice

Sunscreens will prevent your skin from burning and protect you from pre-cancerous lesions. What is important for you to know is that many of the ingredients in sunscreens are chemicals that can have detrimental effects on both your skin and your body overall. Sunscreens create free radicals when exposed to UV light (one of the most damaging sunscreen ingredients is avobenzone). These free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that tear down DNA, cell walls and much more. Sunscreens also can cause estrogenic side effects in the body as well as inflammatory changes. The higher the SPF, the more estrogenic and inflammatory based ingredients.

Sunblock: The Safe and Effective Choice

Currently there are only two sunblocks (also referred to as physical protection). These two sunblocks are titanium dioxide and zine oxide. They are found in some mineral make ups and in sunblock creams. They are naturally occurring minerals that provide good, broad spectrum coverage of both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens (not sunblocks) are designed to absorb the sun’s rays, making them much more likely to break down into damaging byproducts than sunblocks. Zinc and titanium can also become free radicals in the skin but to a much lesser degree. We recommend Shade by Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, or if you’d prefer a makeup with sunblock included, try Oxygenetix Breathable Foundation.

#2 - Apply Vitamin C Topically Every Day

When you think of vitamin C, images of oranges and vitamin pills probably come to mind. Did you know, however, that when applied topically in the correct form, vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient that protects the skin from UV damage, lightens pigmentation, prevents formation of pigmentation and boosts collagen production. Including vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) in your daily skincare routine will give your skin extra defense against the sun while keeping your skin glowing and youthful. L- Ascorbic Acid is the strongest and most effective form of vitamin C. Be sure to find a topical powder form of Vitamin C as this will ensure it is stable and not oxidized. Just mix a small scoop into your daily serum or moisturizer.

We recommend Bright Lights Potent ‘C’ Powder by Skin Addix.

#3 - Drench Your Skin in Antioxidants

A great way to load up on antioxidants topically is by using a nutrient rich serum. Topically applying an antioxidant serum will protect your skin from the damaging UV rays and also repair and restore the skin. When choosing a serum, be sure to look for these high performance ingredients:

Ferulic Acid is a potent antioxidant and it is photo-protective. It has also been proven to be anti- carcinogenic. It repairs and protects the skin. When vitamin E and ferulic acid are combined, the combo absorbs UV radiation, making it a powerful skin protecting combo.

Phloretin (apple derived - found in apple leaves) is an antioxidant that protects the breakdown of our elasticity. Phloretin inhibits the MMP enzyme. This MMP enzyme breaks down collagen and elastin, which phloretin prevents, keeping the skin youthful. It is also anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.

Vitamin E can counteract damage to cell membranes and DNA caused by oxidation of sunlight. Vitamin E protects the fibroblasts, the skin cells that make collagen. It has been proven to reduce sun-induced wrinkling and prevent premature aging. Vitamin E is normally found in the skin, but exposure to sunlight has been shown to deplete this extremely important antioxidant and topical application of it boosts its availability.

Pomegranate seed oil - Topical application of products containing pomegranate may improve the appearance of wrinkled skin by reducing inflammation and forestalling further damage. Research also shows that an extract from pomegranate peel has an inhibitory effect on the collagen-depleting substance MMP-1.

We recommend DailyFix Revival Serum by Skin Addix - it contains all these ingredients and so many more. Just add a scoop of Bright Lights Potent “C” Powder and you have created a summer survival cocktail.

#4 - Fill up on Antioxidant Rich Foods and Supplements

We all know antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet, but did you know they can help protect you from damaging UV rays? Antioxidants are being proven to help protect against cellular damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is still the biggest risk factor for skin cancer. So, start filling up on antioxidant rich foods like these:

Lycopene, a natural pigment and carotenoid found in tomatoes has been shown to aid in protection against some UV-induced skin irritations. Lycopene helps rid the body of free radicals.

Beta-carotene found in red and orange produce has been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns.

Flavanoid-filled orange and pink citrus fruits have also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays.

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help protect cells from free radical damage caused by the sun. Look for fatty fish.

Fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants.

Spinach and Swiss chard are both full of antioxidants that naturally protect the skin from sun damage.

#5 - Fight the Brown Spots

Hyper-pigmentation and sun spots are made more prominent during the summer months thanks to an increase in UV exposure and heat. If your dark spots are due to sun exposure or Melasma they will get worse in the summer and a good home care program is essential to controlling the pigment and keeping things under control.

You can invest all the money in the world in treatments but if you are not protecting and taking care of your skin at home, the spots will just come back. You need to be using a good vitamin C powder mixed into pigmentation serum. A pigmentation serum contains what we call tyrosinase inhibitors. Tyrosinase inhibitors are safe ingredients that suppress your melanin and work to lighten and suppress the pigment from getting worse. Next, you’ll want to ensure you are wearing a physical sunblock every day, rain or shine.

I recommend Enlighten by Osmosis Pur Medical as a pigmentation serum to help keep your dark spots under control during the summer months.

Conclusion

The summer months are all about the outdoors, but that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the health of your skin. Following this Summer Skin Survival Guide will ensure that you can have a great time while protecting your skin and preventing premature aging. So grab your sunblock, your skincare products and an antioxidant rich glass of red wine and enjoy yourself!

Amanda Beisel -

Amanda Beisel is the owner of the award-winning SKN Holistic Rejuvenation Clinic in Yaletown. She is a registered acupuncturist specializing in Cosmetic acupuncture and medical skin needling. Amanda is also the founder of Skin Addix, a natural cosmeceutical line focused on skin restoration. To learn more about SKN Clinic and Skin Addix visit SKNClinic.ca and SkinAddix.com

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