Summer’s Coming in Hot! How to Protect Your Skin

sun protection

What are your plans for summer? Are you going to lounge by the pool or frolic in the waves at the beach? Whatever your summer plans are, they likely include a bit of extra time in the sun. Let’s make sun protection a priority this summer! May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so this is a good time to brush up on how to best protect your skin against UV rays.

Stock Up on Sunscreen (and Use it)

How’s your sunscreen supply? If you’re running low, now is the time to restock. For a summer filled with sun, you’ll need a lot. For a full body application, you’ll need enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. You should reapply at least every two hours, and even more often than that if you’re getting wet or sweating.

If still have an unused (or partially used) bottle of sunscreen from last year, don’t throw it out. Most sunscreens remain effective for about three years, but look for an expiration date on your bottle to be sure.

Master the SPF Mystery

Are you an expert in SPF? SPF—or sun protection factor—measures a sunscreen’s effectiveness against UVB rays. When properly applied, an SPF 30 can block about 97% of incoming UVB rays. Make sure you wear enough, though. If you use half the recommended amount you are effectively cutting your protection in half. Most people only apply about half to a quarter of the recommended amount. You need a nickel-sized dollop for the face alone, and about an ounce for the whole body.

Cover Up – And Not Just with Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a wonderful way to protect your skin from the sun, but it shouldn’t be used alone. Combine it with other sun-smart practices such as seeking out shade and wearing a hat or light layers to further protect your skin. Sunscreen might keep you from burning, but it’s important to remember that too much sun can still be a problem. Cover up!

Repair Past Sun Damage

If your sun practices in the past haven’t been exemplary, you may have some sun damage. Come see Dr. Matarasso to repair it. IPL (intense pulsed light) or a Fraxel laser treatment may be able to fade the signs of sun damage on your skin.

Beautiful summer skin starts with sun protection!