The Ultimate Guide to Sun Protection

Many things are bad for your skin, like smoking and poor diet, but the worst is the sun. UVA rays age the skin while UVB rays burn it, and together it means that too much sun is bad for your appearance and your health. 

While it is important to protect your skin all year long, it is likely that you get more exposure to the sun in the warmer summer months. With that in mind, here’s your ultimate guide on sun protection for the summer. 

Sunscreen basics

There are so many options on the market for sunscreen, varying in delivery method (cream, spray, mist, or powder) and ingredients (chemical or physical). Make sure that whatever you choose is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You may also want to get a daily moisturizer with SPF 15 or 30 in it to protect against daily sun exposure. Don’t forget your sunscreen for those trips to the beach and any other time that you will be in the sun for an extended period of time. Apply your sunscreen liberally and reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating. 

Foods for built-in sun protection

There’s some evidence that eating certain foods can actually help your skin protect itself against the sun. What you’re looking for is food high in antioxidants that fight free radicals created in the skin by sunlight. Carrots are high in antioxidant vitamin A, berries high in vitamin C, nuts and seeds in vitamin E, and tomatoes and watermelon are high in the antioxidant lycopene. The key is to consume these regularly over an extended period of time.

Protective clothes

If you wear just one thing to protect against the sun, make it a hat. A wide-brimmed hat is best, but even a baseball cap can be effective at blocking the sun from your face and protecting your scalp from sunburn. Pay attention to the rest of your clothes, too; they may not be providing as much sun protection as you think. Light colored clothes and clothes with a more open weave, like linen, don’t provide as much protection against the sun as darker, more tightly woven fabrics.

Protective sunglasses

We’re all concerned about how good our sunglasses look, but what we should be concerned about is what kind of sun protection they offer, as the sun’s rays can be extremely damaging to the eyes. Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays. As for style, larger sunglasses with wraparound frames offer the most protection.

Avoiding the sun

Limiting your time in the sun is the simplest way to protect your skin. Avoid the sun as much as possible when it’s at its strongest, from 10 am – 4 pm.

Taking care of your skin and protecting it from sun damage will help keep your skin healthy and youthful. Don’t forget that ultraviolet rays are damaging to the skin at all times, even when it’s not summer or when it’s overcast, so make these tips part of your daily routine year round. 

For more information on skin care and dermatology services, visit our website. You can also order a copy of my book, Botox and Beyond, to learn about keeping your skin healthy, fresh, and youthful!

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