Summer Skin Safety Advice

May 18, 2008 by Marilyn Bieber  
Published in Skin

We all know the basics of sun protection…use a sun screen, wear a hat and stay out of the sun when the rays are most dangerous (10 AM-2PM). Here are a few added reminders of what to do to protect against getting too much sun and what to do when it’s too late.

When talking about beauty, the aging process and how well our skin endures the passing years it is important to realize that photo-aging, or in lay terms, exposure to the sun is the major extrinsic or preventable factor in how well we maintain a youthful appearance. Damage by the sun takes years to emerge when it is far too late to undo.

Not only can sun damage result in advancing the signs of aging, it may turn the joys of outdoor fun into increased risk of skin cancer, a major health issue.

The sun is here to stay. With summer on its way, here are a few words of advice as outdoor fun begins.

  1. Make sure your sun protection guards against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays do not burn but harden the elastin fibers that keep skin supple. UVB rays burn and can cause damage to DNA that may result in skin cancer.
  2. Sun rays can penetrate daytime clothing. Sun screens should be applied to delicate areas of the body that are covered, especially if you are at high risk for skin cancer. There are companies that offer sun protective clothing lines that are attractive, lightweight and affordable.
  3. Using a foundation containing SPF can be dangerously misleading. Sun exposure that exceeds “casual” requires substantially more sun protective product than what would be contained in a thin layer of foundation.
  4. Be aware of whether any medication you are taking cause photo sensitivity. A few drug categories that may cause photosensitivity are: cardiovascular, chemotherapy, diuretics and hypoglycemic sulfonylureas. If in doubt, check with your pharmacist.
  5. Alcohol found in perfumes and certain essential oils can cause skin to be more susceptible to sun exposure. It is best to limit these types of products to use on areas of the body that are not exposed.
  6. Look for a high quality sun protection product that contains Vitamin C. It will help minimize and fight damage. Another excellent ingredient to look for is Aloe Vera. Long regarded as a folk remedy for burns for good reason, it has excellent healing benefits as well as having amazing moisturizing properties.
  7. If you wind up with a burn, try using a topical Vitamin C product. Vitamin C has healing properties that can help reduce long term damage and speed healing.

Keep fun in the sun safe for you and your loved ones.

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