Summer Skin Care

Connect Magazine Summer 2008 

Spring is on its way out, and summer is coming full force with its shorts and tank tops.  After cold winters, there is nothing more to look forward to than the sun, but the lingering effects of the bright star in the sky have also been deemed harmful.  But we all love that summer glow and there are better ways to get it than risking the health of your skin under the rays of the sun. With hundreds of tonics, potions, and lotions overflowing the market, it is hard to determine what the best bottle for the job is.    

Nowadays, the market boasts variety of tanning products that make you look as you just stepped off of the beach.   Sunless tanners are the newest rage.  According to the Mayo Clinic, sunless tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which reacts with the dead skin cells on the outermost layer and temporarily darkens the skin’s appearance.  As we bathe, the color tends to fade in about a week’s time.  If you do not have time for the spray tans, use these products to achieve that look at home. Since they go on clear just as normal lotions, the chances of streaking are minimal.  The newest ventures are the body lotions with a hint of sunless tanner in them such as Oil of Olay’s Touch of Sun.  These products act as normal body lotion, and when used everyday, the lotion builds a healthy glow gradually with no harmful effects of the tanning bed.

But if you trust your tan only in the hands of a professional, walk past the bed and into the spray tan chamber.  The Mystic Spray Tan and those alike are the newest form of tanning.  The airbrush technique gives your body an even glow without the harmful effects of the lamps that simulate UVA- UVB rays from the sun. 

But even you tan in the comfort of your own home or choose to do it through the power of the sun, the after- effects can be damaging.  Aloe- vera and cold compresses all have cooling effects that undermine the inflammatory reactions your skin has after being exposed the sun for a long period of time.  Newer products such as Neutrogena After-Sun Treatment help cool, reduce, and reverse the effects of sun damage with natural soy.

No matter what you choose to lather on, there is one product that is a must. Sunscreen.  SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is becoming more important as the summer sun lingers longer in the days and almost every product in the market is mixed with the sun- blocking emulsion.  The Centers for Disease Control states that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer found in the United States, with melanoma being the most widespread form.   The benefits of SPF are simple.  ‘The minimum number to wear is 15 and make sure to apply every two hours,” says Dr. Harold Brody, an Atlanta dermatologist.  By slathering SPF 15, you can be in the sun 15 times longer letting it absorb 93 percent of ultraviolet rays than if you were without it, according to the American Melanoma Foundation.

Taking care of our skin is of utmost importance where pollutants and harmful rays are in the atmosphere everyday.  By getting the look you want to achieve without the harmful side effects can only make this summer a better one. So go ahead and Indulge in these sun-safe products and have everyone guessing where you vacationed.