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10 Dermatology Tips for Sun Protection
As we begin to enter the warmer months, the importance of sun protection should be heightened. There are two different types of light-waves that hit our skin from the sun. These two different waves are UVA and UVB. The main difference between the two is that UVA is present all year round, even on cloudy days. It can penetrate our skin without us knowing, leading to more long-term effects like an uneven skin tone and wrinkles. UVB rays are more intense, but do not always reach our skin; only when the sun is out and strong. UVB is directly responsible for immediate effects like sun burn and sun poisoning. However, both rays can lead to Actinic Keratosis or skin cancer which means you must protect yourself with products and dermatology medications from both.
Consider these tips below to ensure that you are taking care of your skin while still enjoying the warmth and happiness that the sunlight can provide:
- Always apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher: Check out products that contain antioxidants to protect against uneven skin tone as well.
- The SPF number tells you how long the sun rays will take to redden your skin. So with SPF 30 it will take you 30 times longer to burn than if you didn’t have any sun protection on.
- Additionally, SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays vs. SPF 15 that only blocks about 93%. While 93% of rays being blocked may seem promising, it important to account for proper use of sunblock. The truth is that majority of sunscreen users are not applying correctly, so using SPF 30 or higher will help to get as much coverage as possible.
- Use products that are dermatologist approved and recommended for sun protection
- It is important to use approved products because these products are ones that have proven benefits when using. If a dermatologist has tested and approved a product this means that it effectively will block UVA and UVB rays and may have additional benefits like keeping an even skin complexion, preventing signs of aging, and keeping your skin healthy overall.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours: When you are in the sun for extended periods of time, especially when swimming and sweating, reapply to ensure constant protection.
- Wear makeup products that include SPF: To minimize layering too many products on your face, use makeup with SPF included to get coverage and protection.
- Wear lip protectants that contain SPF 15 or higher: Your lips can also get sunburnt, so to keep them moisturized and protected.
- Be extra careful near water, snow, and sand: These all reflect sunlight and will hit your skin more strongly and from different angles that you do not think about!
- Avoid outdoor and indoor tanning: Tanning allows the sun’s (or tanning bed’s) rays to penetrate your skin and cause immediate and long lasting damage.
- If you wish to get a summer glow, consider self-tanning products that are dermatologist approved: Be sure to still wear SPF once you are tan!
- Wear hats and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun rays: These items will keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes, both of which are very susceptible to sun damage.
- Continue to protect yourself from the sun year round: Although the sun’s rays may not be hitting you directly, UVA rays will still reach you and affect your skin in the colder months.
Remember, it is always better to take preventative measures now, rather than have to correct the damage from the sun later. Be sure to incorporate these tips when the sun starts to shine so that you can stay protected.