Protect Your Face. Every day.

By Rebekah Steen Skin. It’s a love-hate relationship. Mainly because I’ve struggled with mine ever since I was a teenager (yeah, crazy hormones). But, on the bright side, that struggle helped out a bunch. It is what led me to love taking as good a care of it as I possibly can, to see the value in investing to protect it, and do a few simple things each day so it can do its thing…and hopefully glow and be dewey as a result. Thankfully it’s super simple and easy to maintain. Not at all rocket science. Promise. And no, the answer isn’t being scared of the sun, staying indoors all day, and spending a ton of money. That would suck and I wouldn’t be writing about it.

So, here are my three tips to protect your face: Wear a good, high quality moisturizer with non-toxic SPF each day, eat nutrient-packed foods that protect your skin from the inside out, and get your bum outside. Now, let’s expand on those a bit, shall we? Let the fun times begin… Wear Moisturizer with SPF. Every single day.

The mother of one of my close friends is 60-something and we joke that she looks younger than us (we are in our 30’s)…I clearly remember one day when we were sitting on the beach in Mexico and she told me the main thing her dermatologist said was that the single best thing she could do for her skin was to wear sunscreen. Every day. Point taken. I wear sunscreen on my face. Religiously, every day. And my skin loves it. SPF is your first physical line of defense against the sun. Even on cloudy days when all you are doing is working and running errands. Or maybe going to lunch. Or just driving. Well, wearing it helps a ton. Remember that famous picture of the truck driver who had half of his face looking a few decades older that the other half? This wasn’t because of daily trips to the beach slathered in Crisco on half his face as an experiment; he was just doing his job. So here’s a super easy thing to do: you know that daily moisturizer you put on your face? Be sure it has some SPF in it. But you’ve got to choose this crucial face-saving product wisely.

There’s a bunch of horrible-for-you stuff in moisturizers and sunscreen nowadays. It’s a sad, inconvenient, makes you scratch your head, truth. In the past four or so years, I’ve become seriously picky as to what I’ll actually put on my skin. Now that I am pregnant, I am a straight-up, non-toxic, whatever-is-going-on-my-face-better-be-good-for-me general. But, never fear. Products with all natural ingredients, that do make a positive difference in your skin, that are also contain safe, non-toxic sunscreen, do exist. One such hero in a jar? Sonage Presage Moisturizer -- super-hydrating, my skin soaks this stuff up (in a good way). and best of all, it protects yo’ face. Hallelujah.

Antioxidants. Eat them. Now. Yeah, another reason to eat your fruits and veggies every day…and some salmon. Just what you wanted to hear. Well I love to eat. So I do love reading tips like this. Here’s the deal -- While SPF is your first physical defense against the sun…think of what you eat as your first internal defense. Yes, what you eat matters, even in how your skin deals with the sun. You eat the good stuff and your skin is more protected from the inside out. You eat a bunch of crap, your skin tends to not be as resilient. Think about it. Fruits and veggies (and salmon) are outside, in the sun every single day. And you know what, they seem to all handle it rather well. What’s their secret? Antioxidants. It’s not just a buzzword on every juice or produce containing item in the grocery store. These suckers are powerful. And fruits and veggies happen to be overflowing with them. If you eat them regularly, you also are helping safeguard your skin against the sun. Big time. Here’s a list of five foods that provide good, tasty, enhanced protection: pomegranate seeds, bell peppers, watermelon, salmon and heirloom tomatoes…and coconut oil. Coconut oil rocks. Oh yeah, leafy greens do too. So, if you are craving a bell pepper, heirloom tomato, salmon salad, that has a coconut oil-based dressing, a side of watermelon, and a handful of pomegranates. Embrace that craving baby. Devour it.

Get outside. The outdoors, and all the fresh air it has to offer is great for your mind, body, and soul. Which, in my opinion helps protect your skin. Don’t be scared of the sun, just be smart (ahem, daily SPF). I personally had some of the worst skin of my life when I was inside in A/C all day. Skin doesn’t like artificial stuff. Air included. Also, I find it not at all ironic that I had bad sunburns when I went long periods of time without being outside. This is just a personal study, but I find it interesting.

My skin never looked or felt better than when I lived in Hawaii, which included being outside, in the salt water and sun, nearly every day. Yeah, it wasn’t for 4 hours from 10-2, but it was an hour in the morning, a little bit here and there, and at sunset. My skin also never feels better than when I get outside and break a good ‘ole sweat. Maybe it’s because sweating increases circulation, gets nutrients to the skins surface, and puts your skin to work a bit. Which keeps it in prime shape. And honestly, I never feel better, more vibrant, beautiful, and comfortable in my own skin than when I’m active and outside. Which is something to strive for everyday. Yay! for protected skin. And thank goodness for great products with integrity, tasty nutritious foods, and a good dose of some sweet fresh air that make it all possible.

Rebekah Steen is the founder of the supremely cool beach lifestyle blog Goldfish Kiss (along with being a graphic designer / art director / actress / model / creative gal) where she writes about her life, lifestyle, random thoughts, and has become her happy little place, where she can make an impact on people on the world wide web. Check out Goldfish Kiss here.

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