11 Jul 2017

Your skin – dealing with sun damage

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Sun Exposure

With the long Canadian winters, it’s tempting to get outside and soak up as much sun as possible in the summer months.  However, dealing with sun damage and premature skin aging can put a damper on your fun in the sun.  Here’s a few things to consider when caring for your skin:

Practice moderate, gradual sun exposure:  Severe sunburns significantly increase your risk of skin cancers.  Make sure you introduce your skin to the sun slowly.  Keep a cover-up handy and check the local weather for the daily UV index.  For a list of non-toxic sunscreens check out Environmental Working Group’s website http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/.  If you have sensitive skin look for sunscreens labelled as hypoallergenic or formulated for babies.

Antioxidants – orally and topically

UV radiation causes oxidative damage through the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).  Antioxidants help to repair oxidative damage.  Food sources of antioxidants include berries, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and green tea.  Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients such as vitamin C and E, pycnogenol, grape seed extract, and sulphoraphane.

Address inflammation

This will improve the internal environment of the body to decrease the risk of skin cancer.  Eat a clean diet high with plenty of veggies and fruits.  Minimize processed foods and sugars. Omega 3 fatty acids and curcumin are common anti-inflammatory nutrients we utilize in practice. Did you know curcumin can be used topically?  To avoid a Trump-esque skin stain, I recommend using a compounded white curcumin cream.

Concerned about wrinkles?

Hyaluronic acid is often used for joint health but it’s also great for your skin.  It is a major component of connective tissue in the skin and is important for maintaining elasticity.  Hyaluronic acid also holds on to massive amounts of water.  This keeps skin moisturized, plump and prevents the drying effects of the sun.  As always, hydration is key. Don’t forget to drink at least 2 liters of water per day.

Have other skin concerns or want to strategize a skin care plan?  Book an appointment with your ND today.

By: Naomi Whelan