As we age, so does our skin. Fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, looseness and dryness are all the direct results of skin aging. There are two primary types of aging we all must be concerned about – chronological and environmental.

Chronological aging includes all of the natural things that will happen to each and every one of us as we age. This includes collagen and fat loss, which may lead to expression lines and loose skin, hormonal influences that may cause skin to become dryer, and gravity, which pulls everything downward resulting in our skin losing firmness.

Environmental aging, on the other hand, is directly linked to our lifestyle. It is the result of our good and bad habits that are now reflected in the appearance of our skin. Diet, exercise, sun exposure, skincare routine and numerous other factors play a part.

The good news is that there are things we can do to maintain healthy, clean and attractive skin:

When it comes to looking youthful, what we put in our bodies and on our bodies are both important. After all the healthiest looking skin is always the most beautiful.

Protecting Skin

The sun is a wonderful thing that we all enjoy, but unprotected sun exposure is the leading factor in skin aging and skin cancer. We must protect ourselves, even on cloudy days, to ensure we live long and healthy lives – and look great doing it.

The sun has two types of rays that can cause harm to the skin: UVA rays, which are responsible for premature aging; and UVB rays which are responsible for sunburn. But that’s not all. Did you know that these same rays can also cause cataracts, affect the immune system and burn our skin? Everyone must be protected! And, one measure you can take to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UVA/UVB rays is to never leave the house without wearing your SPF skincare products. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) lets you know just how long you can stay in the sun before your skin starts to redden. And everybody is different.

Here’s how SPF works: For the sake of easy math, let’s just say that your skin will start to redden when exposed to the sun in just 10 minutes. You would simply take the 10 minutes and multiply it by the level of SPF in your product. In this case, if you are using an SPF 30 product: 10 minutes x 30 (SPF) = 300 minutes. Take the 300 minutes and divide by 60 minutes, which equals an hour. 300 minutes divided by 60 minutes = The result: around five hours of standard sun protection.

If you are under direct sunlight for extended periods of time – like at the beach – you should always be cautious. If your product is not sweat- or water-resistant, you need to reapply. If you are swimming, exercising or even drying your body off with a towel, you run the risk of compromising your SPF product and you will need to reapply. A good rule of thumb is to reapply about every 40 minutes or so when in direct sunlight, just to be safe.

The proper amount of sunscreen for your body is approximately 1 oz. (or 30 ml), which is just enough to fill a shot glass. And you will need a teaspoon (5 grams) of sunscreen for your face. Always apply your sunscreen products at least 15 to 20 minutes before going into the sun. If your skin is already red from the sun, then the damage is already done. So don’t wait.

It’s important to protect every exposed area of the skin, including your ears, back of the neck and even any bald spots. And, for the best coverage, you may need a little help – this may be a two-person job.

Remember, the healthiest skin is the most beautiful skin!

David Heber

David HeberM.D., Ph.D., FACP, FASN – Chairman, Herbalife Nutrition Institute

Dr. David Heber is the chairman of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute (HNI), which promotes excellence in nutrition education for the public and scientific community and sponsors scientific symposia. The HNI Editorial Board is made up of key scientific opinion leaders from around the world in the fields of nutrition, exercise physiology, behavioral medicine and public health. Dr. Heber holds a degree in chemistry, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. in physiology from UCLA.* In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, reading and painting. Dr. Heber’s favorite Herbalife products are Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix, Herbalife Personalized Protein Powder and the SKIN product line.

*The University of California does not endorse specific products or services as a matter of policy.