It’s summer in Rhode Island again. Maybe you’re thinking about taking a cruise around the Narangansett bay, or walking one of our state’s wonderful beaches. Whatever your plans for fun and sun, we hope you’ll use the following tips to keep your skin safe from the sun’s damaging rays – and to fend off age spots and wrinkles in the process:
- Stay in the shade. If it’s possible, stay inside when the sun is at its strongest, generally between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you garden or golf, try to do so early in the morning or in the early evening. Your skin will thank you.
- Use sunscreen. Whenever you go outside, ALWAYS use sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and an SPF of 15 or higher. We highly recommend sun-protection products from SkinMedica, Biophora and Environ, particularly if you are using one of these systems for your regular skin care regiment.
- Remember your photosensitivity risks: It’s particularly imperative to protect your skin if you regularly use products with alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid and / or other ingredients designed to smooth, brighten and exfoliate the skin. These ingredients can help your skin look great, but they can also leave the dermis more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Also, be aware that some common medications can make your skin more likely to burn. Talk to your doctor about the side effects of any meds you may take. Stay vigilant.
- Use the right sunscreen formulation:If you anticipate swimming or sweating in the sun, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Physical barrier sunscreens that have micronized titanium dioxide are preferable to chemical sunscreens for working out and swimming. If you’re prone to breakouts, also consider an oil-free formula. Think about your needs and shop accordingly.
- Use enough sunscreen. Many people simply don’t use enough sunscreen and so end up with tell-tale burn spots and streaks, not to mention a whole lot of skin damage. On average, it takes a shot glass of sunscreen to cover your entire body. Use at least that much before heading outside in your bathing suit.
- Apply sunscreen BEFORE you go out. Many people wait until they get to the beach or tennis courts or hiking trails to apply sun protection. Don’t be one of them, especially if you use a chemical sun screen. Apply 30 minutes before going outside; that’s how long it can take for the active ingredients to start working. If you wait until you actually get in the sun, you are in effect allowing your skin to get sun damaged.
- Reapply. Reapply. Reapply. Did you get that? Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. If you are engaging in prolonged outdoor activity, you should be using up one six-ounce bottle of sunscreen approximately every two days. If you’re not using that amount, you’re not protecting your skin adequately.
Follow these tips and we promise your skin will look younger, longer. All it takes is a little care and a little extra caution.