Tips for sun care

In the lazy, hazy days of summer, many people enjoy spending as much time outside as possible. While enjoying the beautiful weather, though, it is also important to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harsh rays.

Probably the worst thing you can do is spend hours baking in the sun to get a tan. While you might look good in the short-term, in the long run it is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your skin.

Taking care of your skin in the summer can prevent premature wrinkling, as well as the even worse fate of skin cancer. Follow the following sun care tips for health, and you may be able to avoid skin damage in both the short and long-term. If you want to know more, consult a knowledgeable doctor that could answer your questions.

Sunscreen and Sun Protection Factor

Sunscreen is an absolute necessity for maintaining skin health in hot weather. When it comes to sunscreens in summer, the higher the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), the better. Use a quality sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and reapply after swimming or heavy perspiration.

Avoid the Heat of the Day

While sunscreens help protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, they are just the first step in the battle for healthy summer skin. If possible, stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, and venture out primarily in the morning and evening hours. Less exposure to heat from the sun means a smaller potential for your skin to become damaged by it.

Hats, Sunglasses and Protective Clothing

Protect your face and eyes from sun damage by wearing wide-brimmed hats and UV-rated sunglasses when outside during the day.  Protect the rest of your body by wearing the right clothing when outdoors.

Light cotton or clothing designed with UV protection is typically your best bet in this regard. These clothes are made from tightly woven fabric, shielding your skin from UV rays. Rather than expose your arms and shoulders to the sun, wear long-sleeved shirts.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

When it is hot, you will usually perspire as a natural way of cooling yourself off. On top of the grimy and sticky feeling it can produce, sweating means you are losing fluids as well. That is why it is essential to drink as much water as possible on hot days and take water with you wherever you go. Healthy skin always requires hydration, and it is necessary in summer more than any time of year.

Be careful about alcohol consumption as well, as these beverages cause dehydration. In addition, it is often helpful—not to mention enjoyable—to take advantage of summer’s bounty by eating foods with high water content, such as salad greens and fruits.

Alternatives to Help Maintain Skin Health in the Sun

You can still achieve tanned summer skin without cooking yourself in the sun. Self-tanning gels and bronzers could give you a great summer glow without causing skin damage.

If you have any additional questions or would like further advice on protecting yourself and your skin from damage during the warmer months, contact Dr. Edward Jacobson for a consultation at his home office in Greenwich, Connecticut, or periodically in Manhattan, Newport Beach, or Beverly Hills.

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