New Jersey residents excitedly embrace the summertime months. While the weather is enjoyable, it can also wreak havoc on the skin. Summertime will require that special attention be given to the skin in order to keep it healthy and in good shape. The dermatologist can suggest many ways to protect the skin during the harsh summer months. Here are just a few tips for how to care for the skin in summer.

Think About the Basics

One of the best ways to protect the skin’s health is to protect it from overexposure to the sun. Whenever it is possible, avoid the sun from 10 am to 4 pm which is the time of day that the sun is most dangerous. Even when it is cloudy it is a good idea to wear sun block that offers at least 15 SPF and contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These two ingredients block both UVB and UVA rays from damaging the skin. Whenever you are going to be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes it is a good idea to wear sunscreen.

Wear Clothes that Protect

Sunscreen is a great way to protect the skin during the hotter months, but wearing protective clothing is even more effective. Today there are many UV absorbing clothes which help block harmful rays. There are also some laundry additives which can provide an extra layer of UV protection for at least a certain number of washings. It is good to at least wear light clothing which will cover the skin as well as a hat to protect the head, face and neck. The most effective clothing to wear includes long sleeved shirts, wide brimmed hats and long pants.

Treat Your Skin Right

There are ways other than wearing protective coverings to protect the skin. It is important to maintain proper hygiene and even though you will want to bathe daily, you will need to limit your bath time. When you take a long hot shower or bath it will remove essential oils from the skin. Use warm, instead of hot water and limit the length of your shower. It is also important to avoid real strong soaps which can strip the skin of its oil. Instead choose mild cleansers. After your bath or shower, pat your skin dry with a towel so as not to remove all the moisture from your skin. If you have exceptionally dry skin, you may want to use a moisturizer that is formulated for your specific skin type.

Don’t Forget Your Lips

Many times we forget that our lips are susceptible to the damage the sun’s rays can deal out. In order to prevent skin cancer in the lip area it is important to wear sun screen that comes in a lip balm. Just like applying sunscreen to the skin protects it from damage, lip balm that contains sunscreen protects the lips. Put it on before you go outside and reapply every 15 minutes while you are outdoors. The dermatologists suggest to at least wear a lip gloss which may provide some protection from the penetrating UV rays.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can make the skin look a lot older and it can contribute to wrinkling. But it can also have a negative effect on the skin. Smoking damages collagen and elastin which are fibers that help keep the skin strong and elastic. It also causes the blood vessels which are near the outer most layers of the skin to narrow. This decreases the flow of blood which means that the oxygen and nutrients which are necessary for healthy skin are depleted. Smoking has these types of damaging effects on the skin and should be completely avoided.