With summer in full swing, good skin care should be in the forefront of your mind for beach days, picnics, and pool parties spent out in the sunshine. One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your skin glowing all summer long is to use sunscreen. Sunscreen is a protective agent against damage from the sun’s powerful rays for all ages, genders, and skin types. You may already know that regular application lessens the chance of developing skin cancer in adulthood, but it also protects and nourishes your skin in other ways. Keep reading to find out how:
- Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays, which come in two forms – UVA and UVB rays. Both types of rays are classified as carcinogens – i.e., cancer-causing agents. And anyone can develop skin cancer, regardless of age, gender, or skin type.
- In addition to skin cancer, UVA rays cause your skin to look prematurely aged – this type of radiation is behind fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. UVA rays have the ability to pass through glass and can reach your skin when you are driving or standing in front of a window with the blinds open.
- UVB rays are the beams responsible for red, painful, and peeling sunburns. Unlike UVA rays, UVB radiation cannot pass through glass.
- On the surface, sunscreen reduces the appearance of sun damage on your skin. It prevents discolorations, dark spots, leathery skin, and wrinkles. These protections help your skin maintain a more even skin tone overall.
Choosing and applying sunscreen
Follow these general guidelines when choosing and applying a protective product:
- Wear sunscreen on every occasion you will be spending time outside. Even on cloudy days, 80% of ultraviolet rays can penetrate cloud coverage. Keep in mind that snow, sand, and water all reflect UV rays, which makes them more potent when they hit your skin.
- The American Academy of Dermatology recommends purchasing a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, and waterproof. A sunscreen’s SPF (sun protection factor) determines the percentage of UV rays it will block. SPF 30 will provide more than adequate coverage – it blocks up to 96% of the sun’s rays, and protection only increases minimally with higher SPFs.
- Apply 1.0 ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) to all exposed areas of your skin 15 – 30 minutes before going outside. Don’t skip your scalp, ears, and feet, which are all susceptible to both sunburn and skin cancer. Reapply every two hours or after perspiring or swimming. Even if you are wearing a waterproof sunscreen, it needs to be reapplied regularly.
- Throw out and replace sunscreen per its expiration date or if you notice changes in its color and/or consistency.
Sunscreen is regulated by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug and labels now provide important protection information, such as the spectrum of coverage, the SPF, the amount of water resistance, and whether the product will block skin cancer and/or skin aging. Whether you use a lotion, stick, or spray, choose a product that will be easy for you to use and re-use often. For ladies, consider investing in cosmetic products that include sunscreen. And if you are looking for a product that will not irritate sensitive skin, read here to learn more about sunscreen’s key ingredients and which ones you should avoid.
Sunscreen’s protection is even more potent when combined with other summer skin care measures, such as wearing long-sleeved clothes and wide-brimmed hats, shading your eyes with wraparound sunglasses, and seeking shade during the hottest part of the day (between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm DST). In addition to a healthy dose of sunscreen, show your skin more love this summer by making an appointment with Ageless Allure Medispa and treating yourself to a skin rejuvenating facial, body wrap, or sunless tanning treatment. Call 863-292-2317 today to book your session.