Is your morning skin care habit strictly wash-and-go? Step up to a daily regimen that fights off free radicals, protects skin from the sun's rays, brings moisture to dehydrated skin, and more. Cosmetic dermatologist Marianna Blyumin, MD, shares her daytime skin care tips on how to keep glowing while the sun is shining.
Get Moving. Exercise isn't just for your muscles, so get off the couch and get moving. "Exercise lowers stress hormones, the physiological stress indicators that cause damage to all of your body -- including your skin," Blyumin says. Cardiovascular exercise works best for keeping stress hormones at bay. Walk, bike, swim, or try something new like martial arts for 30 to 45 minutes per day.
Exfoliate. Give your skin a wake-up call in the shower. "Exfoliating your body speeds up skin cell turnover, getting rid of damaged superficial skin and letting fresher skin shine through," Blyumin says.
How often you should exfoliate and how harsh a scrub you should use depend on your skin type. If your skin's desert-dry, look for a mild moisturizing scrub and exfoliate monthly. Normal skin can handle weekly exfoliation with a body cleanser containing fine beads. Oily skin? Scrub three times a week with any body cleanser containing exfoliating beads or a loofah. Afterward be sure to slather on a barrier repair moisturizer; these creams contain ingredients such as ceramide, a lipid that not only prevents water loss but helps rebuild the skin.
Lighten Up. Leave the heavy face creams for nighttime. Instead, go for a light moisturizer; lightweight products don't leave your skin feeling greasy during the day. Blyumin recommends a moisturizer with antioxidants such as green tea, soy, coenzyme Q10, or vitamins A, C, and E, which counteract free radicals that age your skin and can contribute to skin cancer.
Hydrate. You're already hydrating your skin from the outside, but you need to quench your skin's thirst from the inside too. "When you're dehydrated, your skin begins to look dull and dry," Blyumin says. "So it's important to hydrate the skin from the inside by drinking plenty of water."
Solar Power. Top your daily skin care strategies with a sun protection plan.
- Cover up. Help prevent skin cancer and premature aging with an SPF of at least 30. Choose a sunscreen that contains either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, rather than sunscreens with ingredients like avobenzone, because it's less likely to irritate your skin. What's even more important is that your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Lip service. When you protect your face from the sun, don't leave out your pout. "Skin cancers on the lips are more dangerous than other skin cancers because they're more likely to spread to the inside of your body," Blyumin says. Select a lip balm with at least a 30 SPF.