In the warmer months, we can say goodbye to pesky cold-weather skin problems like pasty, dry skin and chapped lips. But summer brings with it a host of different skin woes, like bug bites, rashes and, perhaps worst of all, sunburn.
"We all know about sunscreen," Jessica Wu, M.D., author of "Feed Your Face" and skin and beauty expert for Daily Glow tells The Huffington Post. "[But there are] less obvious links to skin health."
To help draw attention to some of those links, Wu and Daily Glow analyzed 55 of the biggest cities across the United States to determine "where skin is most likely to shine and which locations need to clear up their complexion," according to a press release.
Each city was evaluated based on a number of criteria established by Wu and the team, including number of dermatologists per capita, skin cancer rates, climate, air pollution, tanning beds per capita, and percentage of adults of exercise regularly and smoke.
"Smoking is bad for your skin in a lot of different ways," Wu tells HuffPost. Lighting up reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, decreasing circulation by up to 40 percent, she says, so smokers often have a worse complexion. There's also "the mechanical effect" of smoking, she says. Smokers are likely to have wrinkles on the lips and around the mouth from all that puckering.
Using data from the American Academy of Dermatology, the CDC, the Census Bureau, the American Lung Association and more, Daily Glow has ranked the 55 cities from best to worst. Granted, you're not likely to pack up and move just because your place of residence happens to land on the bottom half of the list. But there are a few simple things you can do to make any environment even slightly more skin-healthy, says Wu.
First, think about what you're doing when you're outside, and how it relates to your sunscreen, she says. If you're sweating a lot or you're in water, you need extra protection. Also, take altitude into consideration. In more mountainous areas you'll be exposed to more UV rays, she says, so be extra careful about reapplying sunscreen, especially if you have light eyes, light skin and fair hair, she says.
Click through the slideshow below to see which cities top the list. Then click over to Daily Glow to see the worst cities for your skin and everything in between.
Austin received high marks as the city with the most physically active population, according to the ranking. "Exercise is surprisingly one of the lifestyle habits that is linked to lower rates of skin cancer," says Wu. "We think this might be because there's a link between obesity and inflammation and skin cancer." A more active population likely means a less overweight one, possibly with a lower risk of developing the disease, she explains. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/4852016302/" target="_hplink">StuSeeger</a></em>
With long winters and short summers, according to the ranking, Milwaukee residents are exposed to fewer harmful rays from the sun. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/edbierman/4930987164/" target="_hplink">Ed Bierman</a></em>
8. New York City
Residents of the Big Apple have the lowest skin cancer death rate, the survey found. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/spinkney/4728069242/" target="_hplink">S J Pinkney</a></em>
Out of all 55 cities, Boston has the most dermatologist per 100,000 people, according to the analysis. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkn/3379931987/" target="_hplink">walknboston</a></em>
This Hawaiian haven has the lowest rate of air particle pollution. Air pollutants contain free radicals, says Wu, "compounds that attack your skin and can cause inflammation, worsen rashes and attack healthy collagen." <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrargerich/2344818811/" target="_hplink">lrargerich</a></em>
This city houses the highest number of skin care specialists out of any of the metropolitan areas surveyed. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacreative/176210965/" target="_hplink">jacreative</a></em>
Baltimore residents have the lowest incidence of melanoma, according to the ranking. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/2535378808/" target="_hplink">Mr. T in DC</a></em>
The sun only shines 47 percent of the time in this western city, according to the ranking. To some, that may sound gloomy, but it's better than getting a sunburn, Wu says. But what about the sunshine vitamin? Wu says more time in the sun isn't necessary (she says she feels supplements are a better option) -- and can be harmful. "It is possible to get vitamin D through brief sun exposure without burning, but it's hard to gauge that, especially in the summer," Wu says. "The few minutes it takes can lead to a sunburn, which can then increase your risk of skin cancer." <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/writergal/3822885132/" target="_hplink">WriterGal39</a></em>
2. San Francisco
This city has the lowest number of tanning beds per capita, according to the ranking. While many in sunny California probably don't <em>need</em> to fake a tan to begin with, it is the only state that <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/APab431c56d6c54ddcb611ddf3450b33d4.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet" target="_hplink">bans tanning bed use by anyone under 18</a>, the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reported. The ultraviolet radiation used to fake that tan <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/entertainment/tipsheet/tanning-booths" target="_hplink">increases the risk of developing skin cancer</a>, according to the National Cancer Institute. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickpokipsie/7019504761/" target="_hplink">chickpokipsie</a></em>
This Oregon city tops the ranking thanks to its low pollution and ozone rates. Pollution not only causes inflammation, it can also speed up the aging process, says Wu, creating wrinkles and fine lines, as well as interfere with healing if you have any skin wounds or problems, she says. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithskeltonphoto/4207502521/" target="_hplink">Keith Skelton - California Photography Workshops</a></em>
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