Long-term exposure to the sun will cause collagen to break down and elastin to deteriorate.

With more than 1 million new cases diagnosed each year, skin cancer has become the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Avoiding these Top 5 Summer Skin Sins will help you achieve beautiful skin while scaring off unsightly wrinkles, age spots, and other ugly effects of overexposure from UV rays.

#1 Summer Skin Sin: The Tanning Bed. Indoors or out, tanning is considered the number one no-no. Patients often say they feel safe using a tanning bed because they are receiving a “controlled dose of ultraviolet radiation.” Believe it or not, tanning beds are typically less safe than the rays of the sun as new, high-pressure sunlamps can deliver as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose as natural exposure. To achieve the sun-kissed look, consider alternatives like sunless tanners and bronzers.

#2 Summer Skin Sin: Not Reapplying. It’s important to be vigilant with sunscreen—even if you’re not fair-skinned. While it’s true that those with darker skin are less likely to develop skin cancer than those with lighter, fairer skin, the risk still exists for everyone. Besides the scary c-word, CANCER, there is another scary word that is brought on from sun exposure: WRINKLES! While there are products and procedure to reduce the look of wrinkles, it’s important for everyone to protect themselves against UV rays. So lather up and protect all exposed areas with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

#3 Summer Skin Sin: Getting Burned. A sunburn may seem like a temporary skin irritation, but it can cause long-lasting damage to your skin. If you’re not cautious, a sunburn can sneak up on you. If your skin starts to redden, ache, or tingle, seek shelter immediately and use natural methods to heal your damaged skin like drinking extra water and applying Lavender Essential Oil by Young Living.

#4 Summer Skin Sin: Showing Too Much Skin. We aren’t trying to sound like your grandmother, but clothing showing too much skin can be harmful to your health. Most summer styles are made of light weight fabric which is not sufficient to block UV rays. When outdoors (especially between 10am-4pm), wear a broad-brimmed hat, UV-blocking sunglasses, and protective clothing.

#5 Summer Skin Sin: Choosing The Wrong SPF. The sun really is the skin’s worst enemy, so choosing the right protection is key. The best sunscreen is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 50. Broad-spectrum means it provides protection from both UVA (the rays that cause skin wrinkling and aging) and UVB rays (the rays that burn the skin). We suggest the Obagi Nu Derm Sun Shield SPF 50, which was named ‘Best Sunscreen For The Face’  in the May 2011 issue of Self Magazine.

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