The sun’s UV rays adversely affect the skin and are predominantly responsible for premature skin aging and skin cancer.
Prolonged exposure to the sun is accountable for a majority of the signs of premature skin aging, alteration in the skin tone, emergence of age spots, enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. Also, the skin loses its elasticity and suppleness and looks leathery and lifeless.
The sun plays havoc with the skin, and timely and appropriate skin care is extremely crucial. Not only will caring for the skin keep it radiant and youthful, but it will also help ward off skin cancer.
Guidelines for Protecting the Skin from the Damaging Sun’s Rays
Adequate sun protection averts photo-aging (fine lines, wrinkles, mottled and leathery appearance of the skin) and skin cancer. It promises to make the skin look youthful, fresh and glowing.
- The best way to keep the skin youthful and radiant is by applying sunscreen lotions before stepping out into the sun. Apply a sun-block lotion before going out and after washing face and hands. In fact, some skin experts recommend applying sunscreen even while indoors.
- When out, wearing a hat that covers the head, face, neck, and shoulders is advised.
- Sunglasses offer eye protection. Opt for sunglasses that obstruct maximum UV rays.
- Steer clear of synthetic materials. Cotton dresses absorb the harmful UV rays from the sun, synthetic clothes do not. Additionally, light-colored clothes are preferable, since, dark colors absorb UV rays easily.
- As much as possible, avoid stepping out into the sun between 11 o’clock and 3 o’clock. That’s when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Diet and Food Prescriptions that Protect the Skin
Incorporating certain ‘skin foods’ and eating a nutritious diet helps fortify and reinforce the skin care regimen.
The following nutrients help rejuvenate and renew the cells of the skin:
- Vitamin A: guarantees healthy and nourished skin. It stimulates the synthesis and replication of skin cells. It encourages prompt restoration and repair of the keratocytes, i.e. the cells that produce keratin. Consuming carrots, bell peppers, pumpkins, papayas and melons (loaded with vitamin A), makes the skin soft and supple and reduces fine lines.
- Copper: the mineral copper is vital for healthy and supple skin. It is a powerful anti-aging nutrient that enhances the skin’s elasticity and strength. Mushrooms, chocolate, soy, barley, nuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of the mineral.
- AHAs: alpha hydroxy acids present in fruits, milk, and sugar cane are highly beneficial for the skin. They remove dead cells and bring about complete rejuvenation and renewal. AHAs control moisture levels and impart a smooth, even, and healthy skin tone.
- Vitamin C: ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and anti-aging agent. It fights sun damage effectively. The vitamin battles free radical and oxidative stress and repairs cells. Limes, lemons, oranges, sweet limes, bell peppers, cherries, and tomatoes are wonderful sources of the vitamin and help prevent wrinkle formation, an appearance of age spots and skin discolorations. Importantly, the vitamin builds collagen, which keeps the skin taut, elastic and firm.
- Protein: proteins help in skin restoration and renewal. Proteins, especially, soy proteins moisturize and nourish the skin.
Safeguarding the skin from the brutal effects of the sun, preventing excessive exposure to the sun, eating a wholesome diet and following a good skin care routine are important aspects of keeping the skin beautiful and young-looking.