Summertime means sun, shorts, sandals and swimsuits but with these also come the effects of the sun on your skin. Sun exposure is, essentially, putting yourself in danger of sun damage and aging. By taking proactive measures in preparing for and caring for your skin, you can help protect your skin all summer long.

We interviewed Hotze Health & Wellness Center's Director of Aesthetics, Sally Kerr, LVN, and asked what her best summer skin care tips are, and this is what she said:

  1. Protect your skin topically. Apply all-natural, chemical-free sunscreen daily under your makeup and when you're exposed to direct sunlight, and be sure to reapply every 2 hours. Elta MD Sunscreen provides serious UV protection and superior hydration that's free of fragrances and parabens.
  2. Remember the hat, sunglasses and long sleeves to help protect your neck, ears and face. Your hands are prone to sun damage, too, so don't forget to wear gloves when you're driving.
  3. Rinse. Chlorine can dry out your skin and hair almost instantly. Be sure to rinse both immediately after swimming in a chlorinated pool.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and incorporate hydrating foods into your diet. Melons, berries and cucumbers are high in water content, which can help also help keep you hydrated.
  5. Avoid citrus. The combination of citrus fruits and sun exposure can cause a reaction known as "phytophotodermatitis", which can cause your skin to become hypersensitive to UV light.
  6. Sleep tight. One of the most basic health practices is beneficial for your skin, too. Don't let vacations and the change in your schedule interrupt your beauty sleep.
  7. Never skip your nightly routine. No matter what, don't forget to wash your face and apply moisturizer every morning and night. Coconut oil works as an excellent make-up remover, as well as an all-over moisturizer, too!
  8. Increase healthy fats. Fish oil, olive oil and coconut oil can help hydrate your skin. Increase your intake during the summer months to ensure your face is quenched daily.
  9. Preserve and restore your skin from the inside out. The Summer Skin Pak was designed to include every nutrient you need to help protect and hydrate your skin from the inside out. The high-quality, ultra-absorbable vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in this comprehensive vitamin pack help quench your skin all summer long. Additionally, nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin E can help reverse sun damage.

What will you do to protect your skin this summer? Tell us in the comments section below.