Current estimates show that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, it only requires simple steps alongside a protective mindset to prevent skin damage at every stage of life. To maintain a healthy exterior this season, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Stanferd L. Kusch provides the following tips for strong, glowing skin at any age:
If you’re in your 20s
Though you may not be worrying about wrinkles yet, your skin may start to show warning signs of damage. Now is the time to focus on prevention.
* Stay hydrated: Drinking water helps delay the appearance of wrinkles.
* Quit smoking: Smoking strips your skin of elastin and collagen, leaving you at the risk of severely premature facial wrinkling.
* Eat smart: Foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants help prevent wrinkles by reflecting UV radiation from the sun.
If you’re in your 30s
This decade is the first time many see distinct signs of aging and skin damage, and it becomes necessary to build a more aggressive damage control and prevention regimen.
*Assess the damage: Take advantage of free health screenings at your local pharmacies or retailers –Sam’s Club will host complimentary stress and skin health screenings on May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. These are open to the public.
* Maintain reduced stress levels. Ask your pharmacist or clinician about the effects of cortisol and stress on your skin and weight.
* Get acquainted with retinoids: Retinoid creams contain compounds found in vitamin A and are used to treat wrinkles, sun damage and acne. Retinoid creams are available in both prescription and over-the-counter treatments.
* Make sunscreen a habit: Use (and reapply) sunscreen throughout the day whenever you go outside.
If you’re in your 40s
Years of sun exposure can leave your skin with noticeable lines, blotchiness or dryness.
* Limit exposure: Decreasing sun exposure is the best way to prevent skin cancer.
* Moisturize regularly: While moisturizers won’t slow down the aging process, they can help soothe increasingly raw or irritated skin and can help strengthen collagen.
* Add a little pep: Skin creams with peptides (small chains of protein molecules) can stimulate collagen and plump sagging skin.
If you’re 50-plus
For people age 50 and older, it’s critical to be aware of changes in your skin that may reflect the status of its health.
* Self check: Monitor changes in your skin and look out for persistent pink, scaly patches and red or black pearly spots or bumps – these can sometimes be indicators of skin cancer.
* See a dermatologist: By age 50, everyone should have a total body skin check to screen for skin cancer.
* Continue good habits: Sunscreen is still an absolute must for this age range, and moisturizers and hydration are even more important than ever.
No matter what your age, everyone feels most confident when their skin is its healthiest. Visit your doctor or take advantage of free counsel from pharmacists and local health screenings. For example, Sam’s Club hosts health screenings focused on stress and skin on Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and these screenings are free and available to the public. For a full schedule of Sam’s Club screenings through October, visit SamsClub.com/healthyliving. This season, take action to prevent and minimize skin damage, so your skin is nourished, protected and healthy for many summers to come.