By now we’ve all heard about the importance of using sunscreen. The cumulative effects of sun exposure can rear its ugly head years later in the form of premature aging or worse…skin cancer. We see quite a bit of skin damage at The Piazza Center and sadly, so much of it is preventable.
The good news is that we have more options now than ever when it comes to choosing a sunscreen. But how do you know which one is most effective in protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays?
Here are some top tips for sunscreen use during these hot, summer months (and year-round):
- Use a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. This will protect your skin from ultraviolet-B rays, which cause sunburns and skin damage, as well as ultraviolet –A (UVA) rays that put you at risk for skin cancer. The sunscreen should also contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are the vital ingredients that provide the protection.
- Choose one that is SPF 30 (with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) or higher, although higher does not always equal better. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in your sunscreen absorbs and reflects the sun’s rays so they do not burn or damage your skin. My favorites are Elta UV Clear SPF 41 for face and Elta UV Sport SPF 50 for body.
- Slather on that sunscreen 30 minutes before you head outside and apply it liberally. Most people don’t use enough. You should use one ounce of sunscreen to every part of your body that’s exposed to the sun. Don’t forget your ears, feet and back of the neck.
- Ignore the product claims for ‘All Day Protection’. Sunscreen wears off after a couple of hours so be diligent about reapplying every 80 to 90 minutes.
- Don’t depend on sunscreen alone. Give your skin some added protection with an SPF 30 lip balm, a hat with a wide brim, sunglasses with UV protection and even sun protective clothing.
Trust me, your skin will thank you.
If you do suffer from skin damage or premature aging, fortunately, there are treatments available to help reverse it such as resurfacing laser treatments, chemical peels, other skin care treatments, and skin care products. Please call (512) 288-8200 or request a consultation.