(Family Features) Summer brings sunshine and plenty of exciting opportunities to head outdoors for fun with family and friends. While those joyous moments make the season special, all that sun exposure can wreak havoc on the skin without the proper precautions.
Whether you’re dining outdoors, going for a swim, sweating out a bike ride or just spending a few moments soaking up some sun, it’s important to ensure you’re taking care of your body so you can enjoy those rays all season long.
As an important aspect of overall health, staying hydrated also helps maintain your skin’s water content. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially as temperatures rise and you spend more time outdoors. Another delicious way to avoid dehydration – leading to energy drain, in mild cases – is to eat fruits and vegetables with high water content. One example is watermelon, which is 92 percent water and can help restore fluids.
Prioritize Skin Protection
Whether you’ll be in the sun for a few minutes or a few hours, it’s paramount to protect skin by applying sunscreen. On days when the UV index is 3 or higher, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 15 or higher. Another option is to wear light, loose clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible while staying comfortable in the heat.
Refresh Your Face
As one of the parts of the body that sees the most sun exposure, your face is perhaps the most important area to care for during the sunnier months. An at-home, all-natural DIY facial offers a brightening, hydrating way to treat yourself.
For a true glow-up from the comfort of your own home, try this quick and easy solution: Mix two tablespoons of Greek yogurt (to help exfoliate and purify) with one tablespoon of watermelon juice (for hydration). Apply the mask to your face and neck for 10 minutes then rinse off and pat your skin dry.
Keep Your Whole Body in Mind
While your face is likely to see a lot of sun, that shouldn’t mean neglecting the rest of your body. This gentle body scrub can give you that glow you’re looking for with a sweet, fruity scent.
Here’s how to exfoliate and polish your skin: Combine one-and-a-half cups of white sugar, one teaspoon of lemon juice and one-quarter cup of watermelon juice. If you’d like, add one teaspoon of microplaned watermelon rind zest and one tablespoon of olive oil.
Store the scrub in an airtight container up to one week and, when you shower, gently rub a handful of scrub on your skin then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
Subtle Care for Sensitive Skin
For many, summer skin care can be as simple as following a basic routine. However, those with more sensitive skin may require additional attention. Try this calming, cleansing at-home ‘Watermelon Mask and Toner’ remedy to moisturize and tone sensitive skin.
Watermelon Banana Mask: One tablespoon watermelon juice, two tablespoons ripe mashed banana. To make watermelon banana mask: In bowl, mix watermelon juice (for hydration) and mashed banana (to ease inflammation). Apply mask to face and let sit 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Pat dry.
Watermelon Toner: One-third cup watermelon juice, one tablespoon witch hazel, one teaspoon distilled water. To make watermelon toner: In small bowl, combine watermelon juice with witch hazel and water. Apply toner to clean face and let sit 2-3 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Pat dry.
Store in refrigerator in airtight container up to five days.
For more skin care solutions and other health and nutrition information, visit watermelon.org. Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board.