It always surprises us that so many clients of our medical skin spa take the time to get anti-aging treatments, yet don’t protect their skin from the sun. The sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays cause serious signs of aging that can be very difficult to repair. Even just a little exposure can cause fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun spots. Sun protection is also critical to preventing melanoma—nearly 86 percent of melanomas are associated with UV exposure.
Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun to keep it healthy and looking its very best.
1. Apply Sunscreen Every Day
Many people make the mistake of not applying sunscreen on hazy or cloudy days. If you want to prevent sun damage and maintain youthful looking skin, you must wear it every day. The sun’s UV rays can be even more harmful on hazy days and cause damage through both rain and snow. Dermatologists recommend wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30.
2. Don’t Skimp
Another mistake the majority of people make is to skimp on sunscreen. Err on the side of caution and apply more than you think is necessary. A generic rule of thumb many skin care experts suggest is to use enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. We think that’s conservative—use as much as you need to cover all your bare skin and then some.
3. Apply Sunscreen Before Heading Outdoors
It takes at least 20 minutes for your skin to absorb sunscreen, so apply it well in advance of exposure.
4. Re-Apply When Necessary
If you’re participating in outdoor activities, re-apply sunscreen every hour. Perspiration will cause it to dissipate and if you’re swimming, it’s certain to rub off. Re-apply it even if you’re just outside relaxing for any prolonged amount of time, such as 80 minutes or more.
5. Use New Bottles of Sunscreen
The effective ingredients in sunscreen lose strength over time, so make sure to throw away bottles after their expiration date.
6. Limit Exposure During Peak Hours
Avoiding prolonged sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are at their strongest.
7. Protect Your Lips
Always apply a lip balm with SPF. Re-apply throughout the day. If you wear lipstick, use your protective lip balm as a primer by applying it five minutes before your lipstick.
8. Cover Your Head
An area many people neglect is their scalp. This is one of the most sensitive parts of our skin—if you’ve ever endured a sunburn on your part, you know what we’re talking about. Mist your scalp with a spray sunscreen and top it off with a hat or scarf. For best results, opt for a tightly woven, wide-brimmed hat to help shield everything from your face and scalp to your ears and the back of your neck.
9. Wear Sunglasses Religiously
Wear sunglasses whenever you go outside, all year long. This will help prevent the squinting that causes Crow’s feet and under eye wrinkles, while protecting the delicate skin around the eyes from UV rays. It also will promote healthy eyesight and protect your eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration. Opt for polarized lens, which reduce glare and block reflected light from entering your eyes.
10. Wear Protective Clothes
If you plan to be outside for an extended period of time or exercise in the great outdoors, wear clothes that provide protection. Choose bright, tightly-woven fabrics to help block UV rays. You can also buy clothing made with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF).
If you follow these tips and get anti-aging treatments at our medical skin spa, your skin will look younger than ever.