Here are 5 good skin care and healthy lifestyle tips to keep your skin looking healthy and to prevent premature skin aging from the damaging rays of the sun.

Compare-2-senior-faces-Marie DiLauro MD1) Protect yourself from the sun throughout the year. The sun can cause premature aging of your skin over your lifetime. Skin discolorations, freckles, age spots, lines and wrinkles, irregular skin texture and skin cancer are all caused by the sun. When the ultraviolet rays of the sun penetrate deeply into your skin they damage collagen and elastin. They also cause your skin to wrinkle, droop, and sag on your face and your body.

2) Use a good quality, broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Products containing micronized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are excellent choices. Get into the daily habit of applying sunblock to your face, neck, hands, and other exposed areas before applying your makeup. Because sun damage commonly occurs while driving, apply your sunblock EVERY day, even when it’s cloudy and even when you do not plan to be exposed to the sun.

3) Try to stay in the shade between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Wear a wide brimmed hat or visor and sun glasses when you are in the sun and consider other protective clothing. Reapply your sunblock every two hours or more often if perspiring or swimming. Remember that water, snow, and sand all reflect the sun and can increase your chance of sunburn.

4) Get your “tan” from creams or sprays, not from the sun or tanning beds. A sun tan is your damaged skin’s attempt to protect itself from the sun’s damaging radiation. It is hard to distinguish between a spray tan and a sun tan when the tanning spray is applied properly using today’s modern spray tanning equipment. Good home spray tanning units are now available and offer the ability to keep that beautiful tan year round without the risk of damaging your skin.

5) When you protect your skin from the sun, your skin will be ready to start the healing process, and you can begin treatments to reverse the premature skin aging on your face, neck, décolleté and hands. Remember to continue to schedule periodic maintenance treatments for your skin throughout the year, just like you do for your hair and nails. The “Forever Young” treatment has been proven to reverse sun damage, and maintain younger looking skin by turning off “old” skin genes and turning on “young” skin genes to give you healthy, younger looking skin. In addition to “Forever Young”, other effective treatments and products are now available to improve and maintain your skin so you can keep looking good at every age.

Enjoy the warm weather!