Protecting your skin from the sun is more serious then avoiding a sun burn. Unprotected sun exposure can result in wrinkles, aging skin and in the worst case – skin cancer. As Memorial Day approaches, and pools and lakes become havens for sunbathers, it is so important to protect your skin correctly.
In honor of Melanoma Awareness month in May, Chicago-area Dermatologist and Northwestern University Medical School Professor Amy Taub, MD shares some tips on how to enjoy the sun, but to avoid damage from its dangerous rays:
- Sunscreen is the single most important thing you should put on your face every single day. The small amount in one’s moisturizer or makeup is not enough sun protection.
- Make sure sunscreen has both UVB and UVA protection. Not all do. The sunscreen must say "UVA protection provided.”
- Sunscreen must have at least an SPF 30 and also include at least 5% zinc oxide.
- Discard sunscreen not used within a year. The active ingredients (such as certain sunblockers and antioxidants) in many sunscreens can oxidize, rendering the product less effective. Make sure you label products with the date as soon as you buy.
- Purchase a sunscreen containing antioxidants. Applying an antioxidant-packed sunscreen takes sun protection to the next level. When combined with sunscreen, antioxidants quench skin-damaging free radicals generated by UV rays and ease post-sun redness. Look for products containing powerhouse ingredients like vitamins C, E, coffeeberry or pomegranate extract.
Too much sun? Not only is sunburn one of the leading causes of premature aging and skin cancer, it can be extremely painful and unattractive. Dr. Taub recommends the following at-home sun burn remedies:
- Soothe sunburn pain with cool or room temperature milk compresses
- Reduce inflammation by eating foods rich in vitamin E
- Draw heat out of sunburned skin with cool tea compresses. Load a spray bottle with tea and spritz directly onto the affected area
- Keep skin from peeling by applying fresh aloe
Product Recommendations for Summer Skin Care. Dr. Taub recommends having different types of sunscreen in your arsenal for different daily activities
- Oily Skin? Try EltaMD 41-oily
- Dry skin? Try Morning Security Cream by Skinfo – SPF 30
- Active Outdoors? Try either Skinfo Pure Protection or EltaMD UV Sport
- Gal on the go? Try powder-on-the-go Colorescience Sunforgettables