Summer is upon us. In some areas of the country the season is arriving on the earlier side or it just never quite went away. And as the sun begins to linger in the sky longer and at higher temperatures, we really start to think about what that big fiery ball is doing to our skin.
Applying sunscreen once or twice a day doesn’t really cut it as far as comprehensive protection goes. For one, UVA rays are the rays that can really cause long-term damage like wrinkles and cancer, but those rays are not protected by higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor). The highest SPF factor for UVA is 15. UVA rays can also penetrate glass, so if you work by a window all day or drive in your car a lot, sunscreen with UVA protection is necessary. Even if you’re not near a window all day, sunscreen with both UVA/UVB is recommended because of the amount of time we inadvertently spend outside.
Make sure to apply a UVA/UVB sunscreen or moisturizer, preferably with an SPF of 30, to your skin every two hours. In direct sun exposure, apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before you go out and then make sure to reapply after playing in the water or sweating heavily.
During the hot summer days limit exposure to the sun, especially between the peak hours of 10am and 2pm. During this time, UVA/UVB skin protection is a must. If you are going to be outside and didn’t manage to apply sunscreen, your skin will begin to redden and burn approximately 15 minutes after exposure, so it’s best to limit your exposure to less than 15 minutes.
Other Important Sun Care Tips:
· Wear a hat. Hats not only do a wonderful job of adding extra sun protection to your face, but can keep the top of your head from burning as well. Skin cancer of the scalp is more common than people realize.
· Stay in the shade as much as possible. Find a shady tree, bring that big umbrella to the beach and even consider carrying one around on really hot days if you must be out.
· Wear sunglasses. Sun doesn’t just affect your skin. You can do damage to your eyes that will affect your vision. People with light-colored eyes need to be particularly careful.
· Take antioxidants supplements or look for skincare with antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin A and green tea have all been shown to reverse skin damaging.
Recommended Skincare Regimen
We asked a top Dermatologist on JustAnswer what he’d recommend for those worrying about sun damage, and he had a few product suggestions for us.
“If you are concerned about skin aging I would recommend products that contain soy like Aveeno’s Positively Radiant, which helps with brown spots. Another product I would recommend is RevaleSkin®. It’s made with CoffeeBerry®--which is proven to be one of the highest antioxidant plants and can really help with aging issues.
You can also take an over-the-counter drug called Heliocare® which is derived from a fern. It helps protect the skin from the inside and prevents the skin from aging. Do not use this instead of a sunscreen. Take in the morning, as it will help protect your skin during the day.
And of course, be sure to apply a UVA/UVB sunscreen, even on days that you are not going out in the sun.”
If you’re concerned about sun damage for cosmetic reasons or for more serious reasons like skin cancer, talk with a verified Dermatologist now. He or she can offer customized responses based on your own skincare needs.