Summertime in coastal South Carolina offers hours of relaxing golf, tennis, boating, the beach and so much more. But all of that outdoor activity can leave our skin in need of some tender loving care.

Protecting and hydrating your skin is extremely important, especially during the summer months.

Think about it; your face is the only part of your body that is constantly exposed to the sun, wind and air pollutants. That’s why it is so crucial to protect it.

A great place to start is protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so if you’re going to be outdoors, be sure to pack your hat and sunscreen.

Everyone should be wearing a minimum SPF 30 every day, even when it isn’t sunny.

Make sure the sunscreen you purchase is broad spectrum, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays penetrate the deepest and are known to contribute to the development of skin cancer. UVB rays do not penetrate our skin quite as deeply, but they can cause sunburns.

Big sunglasses and a floppy hat are also great ways to protect your precious skin and look good doing it.

I recommend regular facial treatments no matter what time of year it is. Not only are they relaxing and a great excuse for “me time,” but facials are highly beneficial to overall health of your skin.

They promote cell turnover, stimulate collagen production and improve circulation to promote optimal skin health.

Facials performed at a medical spa include powerful ingredients to help energize and hydrate your skin.

One of my favorites is the Hydra Facial, which is a form of hydraderma-brasion that gently removes dead skin while infusing hyaluronic acid and antioxidants deep into the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced in our bodies and is deeply hydrating, holding 1000 times its weight in water. As we age, our bodies produce less hyaluronic acid, and in turn we develop fine lines, wrinkles and dry skin.

Combining regularly scheduled facials with a dedicated at-home skin care regimen is the best way to whip your skin into shape.

You hear a lot about giving your body the right nutrition, and the same goes for your skin, which happens to be the largest organ in the body. Skin needs antioxidants to function properly and to fight off free radicals, which damage healthy skin cells and contribute to the signs of aging.

Vitamin C is a great antioxidant for anyone to add to her skin care routine.

It reduces the appearance of sun damage, calms inflammation and works along with sunscreen to boost your skin’s defense against the damaging rays of the sun.

I recommend ZO C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum to give your skin a healthy boost this summer.

This type of highly effective, anti-aging product can only be purchased at an authorized physician practice.

Licensed Medical Esthetician Liz Cecala is a member of the team at Pinnacle Plastic Surgery, the practice of Dr. Audrey Klenke.