1. Protect yourself from the sun
For the most complete sun protection:
- Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. When you're outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
- Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.
2. Don't smoke
If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.
3. Get the red out
For the estimated 14 million people in the U.S. with rosacea--the condition whose symptoms can be triggered by alcohol, spicy food, exercise, and sun exposure--their reddened skin can feel like a scarlet letter.
Researchers have found that when rosacea sufferers wash their faces with a sonic skin-care brush (like the Clarisonic Skincare System, their skin calms down. The theory is that the gentle exfoliation allows skin treatments to be absorbed more effectively to put out facial fires.
4.Use an anti-ager--now!
Don't wait for the first crow's feet to appear before you reach for that little tube. "Even women in their twenties should be using a topical retinoid--unless they're pregnant or nursing," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Here's why: Retinoids, which contain vitamin A, are one of the most potent agents for preventing and reversing sun damage and signs of aging. And, says Hirsch, "they're the ultimate multitasker. They speed skin renewal by shedding dull, pore-clogging cells and increase collagen production to prevent wrinkles."
5.Cover your mouth
We're talking about a lip balm with UV protection, not ruby red lipstick. Your lips (along with your eye area and upper chest) have some of the thinnest skin on your body, so they need extra shielding.
A survey by a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery found that only 47 percent of respondents used lip protection containing UV blockers. That's bad news, because "when skin cancer originates from the lips, it's especially aggressive and has a higher risk of spreading," says Erin Welch, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
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