For many of us in Florida, the summer days are spent relaxing in the sand or grilling poolside; but while we’re enjoying all the sunshine has to offer we often neglect our skin which can lead to premature wrinkles, sunspots and even skin cancer.

Luckily, it’s easy to manage signs of aging skin and prevent skin cancer at the same time. To keep your skin looking healthy and to help prevent the onset of skin cancer, take a look at the skin care tips below.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States?  Studies show that almost 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once. That’s a pretty incredible statistic!

Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re safe from the sun while continuing to look your best:

  • Always use sunscreen. Make sure you use sunscreen that is at least 15 SPF or higher. Read the label carefully to ensure it’s protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays. Also, if possible, use sunscreen daily, year-round, especially on your face.
  • Avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest. Typically these are the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The sun’s rays during these times can really take a toll on your skin.
  • Check your skin regularly. Take a moment every now and again to look over your skin and tell your doctor when you see new growths or changes in the size, shape and/or feel of an existing mole. Although skin changes do not always indicate cancer, you should have a doctor check to make sure.

Healthy Aging

There are plenty of moisturizers, creams and treatments out of a bottle that promise a younger looking appearance. Some work well, others do not. That being said, it’s important to note that proper care now can lead to healthier, younger looking skin later.

  • Treat your skin right during bath time. There are plenty of small things you can do to keep your skin healthy every day at home when you’re prepping for your day. Consider using warm water, rather than hot water, when you shower and avoiding strong soaps that can strip oil from your skin. Be sure to shave carefully using a clean, sharp razor. Pat yourself dry so that some moisture remains on your skin and always be sure to moisturize dry skin using a moisturizer that fits your skin type.
  • Live right. Other healthy skin tips include eating a healthy diet and taking part in regular physical activity. This will help keep access oils from the skin. Smoking also contributes to wrinkles and will make your skin look older by narrowing tiny blood vessels on the outer layers of the skin. Controlling your stress may also help prevent acne breakouts and other skin problems.
  • Cosmetic Services. If you still feel like you’d like to look younger, consider visiting a fellowship-trained cosmetic specialist in the area. There are dozens of options to give you the younger, more youthful appearance you desire, and many of them can be done in-office with minimal discomfort and recovery time. From Botox to chemical peels, Juvederm to facelifts, offices like The Ear, Nose, Throat and Plastic Surgery Associates offer a wide variety of options to help you look your best.

With proper care, maintenance and maybe even a little help from a professional, you can be sure your skin will look great and be healthy no matter what age you are.

Article Originally Published in Insight Magazine, July 2012.