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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



5 tips to keep your skin glowing and sun-safe this summer

June 10, 2014, 3:40 am

summer-skincareLast week, we mentioned that those who attend our Skin Smart Happy Hour on June 19th will receive a sweet little travel makeup bag and a deluxe travel size Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 primer. In that post, we talked about why we believe in Colorescience Sunforgettable products. Today we want to tell you more about the importance of protecting your skin from the summer sun and to give you some tips on how to do just that.

There are a number of reasons why practicing sun-safe habits is important. Repeated exposure to sunlight without proper skin protection can lead to a number of negative effects on the skin. Sun-damaged skin is prone to drying out even with regular moisturizing, and with long-term, excessive sun exposure, the skin may take on a leathery appearance. Unprotected skin will also show early signs of aging, such as the early appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that worsen over time. Additional effects may include dark spots, often called “sun spots” or “age spots”, which are permanent hyperpigmentation of the skin. Excess sun exposure without proper protection also increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

Sun smart tip #1 — Find some shade

Although you may enjoy feeling the warmth of the sun against your skin, you are far better off finding a bit of shade when you are out enjoying your day. When at the ballpark, by the pool, or sitting outside your favorite café, look for a shady spot where exposed skin is out of direct sunlight, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are hitting the Earth’s surface more directly and are at their strongest.

Sun smart tip #2 — Protect your skin even when in the car

Even if you are hopping in the car for a quick trip to the store or to drop the kids off at camp, take steps to protect your skin. Even if you don’t plan on getting out of the car and even if your car windows are tinted, you are still being exposed to UVA rays from the sun. Before grabbing your car keys, apply a bit of sunscreen to your skin and pay particular attention to your hands, which will receive the most sun exposure as they are on the steering wheel. Even if you are the passenger, take a minute to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin before getting in the car. If you will be in the car for a long trip, reapply your sunscreen periodically.

Sun smart tip #3 — Understand SPF and use the product that best meets your needs

Sun protection comes in many forms — from roll-on sticks, to lotions, to sprays. You can even find SPF powders that can be quickly reapplied throughout the day. Match your sunscreen to your activities, and no matter what the activity, use a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection (blocking UVA and UVB rays) and has an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. Read the label to understand how often you will need to reapply your sunscreen — not all sunscreens last the same amount of time in all conditions. Products such as Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 50 powder will block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful UV radiation. As the SPF goes up so does the protection, but past SPF 50, the difference becomes negligible while the potential for skin irritation increases. Also, note that sunscreens have expiration dates, just like food, and have a maximum effectiveness of between two and three years. Our aesthetic nurse will be happy to help you select sun protection products that are ideally suited to your skincare needs.

Sun smart tip #4 — Reapply sunscreen regularly, particularly if you have been in the water

Recent changes to FDA regulations regarding sunscreen labeling now require sunscreens labeled as water resistant to state how long they are effective. In general, sunscreens labeled as water resistant have effective times of either 40 or 80 minutes when in water or exposed to sweat. Make sure you know how long your water-resistant sunscreen is good for, and reapply regularly as needed. Even if you aren’t in the water or sweating, reapply SPF every two hours for maximum protection. If you are wearing makeup and don’t want to reapply an SPF lotion, try an SPF powder such as Colorescience SPF 50, which comes in its own brush for easy application.

Sun smart tip #5 — Wear clothes that offer sun protection

Whenever possible, wear clothing that covers your body. Ideally, wear long sleeves and long pants in darker colors. This may not seem all that fun for summer, but longer clothing in darker colors made from tightly-woven fabric will offer the highest level of protection against the harmful rays of the sun. Also, look for specially designed clothing with a UPF (UV protection factor) built right into the fabric, and complete your outfit with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that have broad spectrum lenses. Keep in mind that no clothing will block UV rays completely.

To learn more about keeping your skin looking healthy, fresh, and youthful this summer, reserve your spot today for our Skin Smart Happy Hour on June 19th. If you can’t make this fun event, consider scheduling an appointment with our in-house aesthetic nurse Kristin, by calling (816) 286-4126.