Hot Tips for Sun Protection
Choose Outdoor Time Wisely
Early afternoons may be beautiful, but they're not so pretty for skin as the sun's rays are particularly potent. “Stay out of direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.," advises Susan Stuart, MD, a board certified dermatologist in La Jolla, CA. If you have to be outside during that time, she recommends covering up with hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts, applying sunscreen and hanging out in the shade.
Slather It On!
No surprise: Sunscreen is a must, especially in summer. If you're headed to the beach, choose a water-resistant one with an SPF 30 or above, and apply it before you put on your bathing suit, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a board certified dermatologist in New York City and author of Skin Rules.
Go for a Shot
We all know not to skimp on the sunscreen, but how much is enough exactly?
Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, dermatologist and co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC, suggests using about a shot-glass-full of sunscreen for the entire body to get the intended amount of SPF that's indicated on the bottle.
Give Little Ones Extra Care
Since children have much more delicate skin than adults, they need special sun protection. Dr. Jaliman suggests using sun protection products with zinc oxide, which blocks both UVA and UVB light, since those sunscreens avoid harmful chemicals. “Also look for sun protective clothing with SPF 50 or above,” she says. “Note that regular clothing only has an SPF of 6.”
Protect Your Head
Those floppy woven hats aren’t just fashionable, they’re also crucial for protecting your scalp from the sun’s harmful rays. If you forget your hat at home or don't want to wear one, apply sunscreen to your scalp, advises Dr. Jaliman. And don't forget to apply it liberally to ears and the area around them—head and face parts often missed.
Double Up on Eye Protection
The best protective sunglasses wrap around and are UV400-blocking (lenses that will block even the smallest UV rays) suggests Dr. Jaliman. If you can't find wrap-arounds, use sunscreen on areas your the sunglasses don't protect, says Julie Woodward, MD, chief of oculofacial surgery at Duke University, who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the eyelids.
Love Your Lips
Since the skin on the lips is so thin and susceptible to sun damage, remember to dab on a lip balm with SPF 30, suggests Dr. Jaliman.
Eat for Skin Health
It's possible to protect your body from the sun from the inside out, according to Frank Lipman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York CIty.
Have a Post-Sun-Damage Strategy
If you’re looking to undo sun damage from this season or seasons ago, you have several options. “You can effectively treat sun damage with retinol,” Dr. Jaliman says, "by applying serum or cream every evening. Lasers can also treat sun damage.”
Written by Maricar Santos for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.