The sun’s rays feel great – but we all know that they’re not necessarily your skin’s best friend.  Though you won’t see it right away, over time, they can cause wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer.  But the good news is that you can enjoy the sun and protect your skin at the same time. Before you hit the road for your summer vacation, consider the Four S’s of Summer Skincare.

Sunscreen: Bet you guessed this one already!  Use sunscreen every day – even if it is cloudy.  Choose one that is SPF 30 or greater, and use an ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) about 30 minutes before you go outside.  You should also use a lip balm or lipstick with SPF 30 protection as well.

When you’re at the beach, or doing other outdoor activities, be mindful of sand and water, which can reflect the sun’s rays and make them even more powerful.  You’ll want to reapply often – every two hours or so. And if you can, limit your exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Sunglasses: Accessorize with a sunglasses – and a hat – especially if you’re going to be outside during peak sun hours. Pick sunglasses that have 99 or 100 percent UV absorption to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them, and a hat that shades your face, neck and ears.

Sleeves: When possible, wear long sleeves and pants. Today’s fabrics can be comfortable in warm weather and still cover and protect your skin. Darker, tightly woven fabrics are best.  We’ve seen some great long sleeve swim tunics and fashionable outdoor gear that looks fabulous and keeps you cool while protecting your skin.

Scrub: Exfoliating your skin regularly – especially when it is exposed to lots of sun, sand, and salt water – can help keep it healthy and strong. By removing dead skin cells before moisturizing, you’re opening up fresh new skin cells and your moisturizer will be more effective. Look for natural exfoliants like sugar or salt, and be careful not to scrub too hard, or in any one spot for too long.  Aim to exfoliate once a week, for optimal results. Check out our recipe for a DIY scrub here.

While a healthy glow is a hallmark of summer, you can get the look without the damage.

In addition to the four S’s make sure your diet is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables – which is pretty easy this time of year! They contain anti-oxidants, which can counter the sun’s damaging effects, and can give your skin a healthy glow.  You can also use a sunless tanner (we have a great one for sale in our boutique) to get natural looking color, without the risk.  Today’s products look great, and contain lots of skin-healthy ingredients.  And for a real treat – before or after your beach vacation – check out our body treatments at the spa.

See you at the beach!