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Ten Tips for Healthy Skin

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As a dermatologist, healthy skin is my thing. So, I wanted to provide you with some tips and tricks to keep your skin healthy throughout your life. Just think -- you're going to get your acne under control one day, but you'll have the skin you're in for the rest of your life. So, treat it right.

1) Steering Clear of Excessive Sun Exposure

The sun is an immense nuclear reactor. As well as producing heat and light, it also sends out other types of radiation that can sometimes damage your skin. The Earth's atmosphere filters out much of the more dangerous solar radiation, but some of it gets through -- mainly in the ultraviolet (UV) band. The UV radiation in sunlight can cause painful sunburns and certain types of skin cancer, and can also age your skin.

If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer or you have very fair skin that never tans but always burns, do whatever possible to minimize sun exposure. If you have skin of color or are naturally very dark complexioned, you can probably ignore the following advice unless you develop allergic reactions from the sun, take medications that may make you extra sensitive to the sun, or have a medical condition that sunlight worsens.

The best way to prevent skin damage from the sun besides moving to the Antarctic -- oops, never mind, I forgot about the hole in the ozone layer there -- is to avoid excessive exposure to UV and the sun. You can accomplish this by following these tips:

* Shun the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, especially during late spring and summer when the sun is most intense.
* Wear protective headgear such as a hat with a wide brim to protect your face, head, and the back of your neck. You can also wear a baseball cap, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants.
* Be aware of reflected light from sand, water, or snow.
* Avoid tanning parlors.
* Slather on the sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater -- at least 30 minutes before sun exposure, even on cloudy, hazy days.
* Reapply sunscreens liberally and frequently at least every two to three hours, and after swimming or sweating.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.