Summer sun is approaching, which mean it’s time to think about summer skincare.

First and foremost, use sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using one that offers broad-spectrum — UVA and UVB — protection, has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water-resistant.

A sunscreen alone, however, isn’t enough to ensure healthy skin when you’re soaking up the sun. Be sure to apply a quality moisturizer. Choose a lightweight moisturizer that won’t clog your pores when humidity is up but will also give skin the hydration it requires to stay healthy.

While your skin still needs hydration in the summer, so does your body. So make sure you drink enough water which not only helps your body but keeps your skin hydrated and aids in detoxification.

Krista Ingerick, a 2001 graduate of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage in Rochester, practices therapeutic message at The Springs Spa and Integrative Medicine in Clifton Springs.

She says: “Often, when we think of summer skincare, we consider prevention and treatment of sunburns. From my perspective, sunscreen is an essential component for maintaining the health of the skin and prevents premature aging and protects against skin cancer, but the health of the skin is so much more than just slathering on products. Our skin is our largest organ, protecting us from the outside environment, functioning to aid our bodies in elimination of toxins and metabolic waste, and also absorbs whatever we put on it. As an organ system, our skin health is also a reflection of the foods we eat and the state of our internal organ systems.”

Ingerick uses Traditional Chinese Medicine — also known as TCM — and Ayurveda in her practice, which includes using medicinal herbs, oils, clays and natural exfoliants. The skin is nourished from the outside and the inside, and imbalances are treated holistically with an individualized approach.

When working with clients, she encourages them to eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while staying away from processed foods and sugars. She shares that a body in a state of balance will exhibit a healthy outward appearance, while imbalances can cause changes in skin texture, color, moisture level, or eruptions like acne or eczema.

Ingerick recommends therapeutic massage, acupuncture and cupping for healthy skin. Massage releases tension in the muscles of the face and stimulates the numerous acupuncture and marma points that impact the nervous system. Circulation is increased allowing the skin to both absorb and eliminate more effectively, and by releasing muscle and restrictions in connective tissue, fine lines and wrinkles can appear softer. Acupuncture also can aid skin health by treating the constitution as a whole, and can be compared to a natural “facelift.” Additionally, cupping can stimulate circulation, pull stagnation to the surface, and stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

When Ingerick began her academic career, she pursued a degree in psychology from SUNY Geneseo, earning a bachelor’s degree. But after working in pediatric medical research as a data analyst and project coordinator, she decided to pursue a career in therapeutic massage. The benefits of touch inspired her when she observed the relief it gave her aunt during her battles with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

One of the services offered at The Springs is a treatment called Mukha Abhyanga.

“Essentially, it means facial massage, but the treatment incorporates massage with both oils and herbal powders integrating techniques from TCM and Ayurveda,” Ingerick said. “The goals of the treatment are to release tension held in the face and head, release tissue restrictions, and nourish the skin for a natural glow.”

So, go out and enjoy the sun’s warm rays but make sure to do a few simple things to protect your skin. With so many new skin products available, making a choice can be confusing and expensive, but doing the basics will go a long way to protect your skin.

Erica Wells is a freelance writer for the Finger Lakes Times. An avid reader and writer, she lives in Phelps and also is a Resource Room teacher at Waterloo High School.

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