Summer is here! Hello sunshine and warm weather. With summer in full swing, you’re probably spending a great deal of quality time outdoors, running, biking, hikingor hangouts on the beach. Spending more time in the hot sun can wreak havoc on your skin, even damaging your skin. This summer, fight back against the sun’s harmful effects by exercising good suncare.
Although most people understand the importance of applying sunscreen, there are still many misconceptions revolving around SPF. Many people believe that higher SPFs mean more protection against the sun and therefore you can spend more time in the sun; however, this is a huge myth. High SPF sunscreen can provide a false sense of security, but skin damage and sunburns are still likely if you aren’t reapplying sunscreen, seeking the shade, and wearing sun protective clothing. No sunscreen product can provide 100% protection. Another major misconception is not wearing sunscreen on a cloudy day. Just because there are overcasts, doesn’t mean you’re safe from the sun’s harmful rays. People are actually exposed to as much as 40% of UV rays during cloudy days. Even when the sun is not shining, you are still exposed to UV rays and could still get sunburn. Furthermore, applying sunscreen once is not enough. It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, more often if you are in and out of the water. In addition, always check the expiration date of you sunscreen products. Expired sunscreen may not provide protection from the sun because the formulation has broken down. This summer, be aware and cautious of our sunscreen products. Make sure to always check the SPF and expiration date and reapply often, even during cloudy times.
These SPF misconceptions can lead to serious lack of sun protection that can cause major risks. High exposure to UV rays from the sun target the collagen and elastin fibers in our skin, breaking down the existing molecules and weakens the production of new molecules. With little or no protection from this UV exposure, skin loses its ability to repair itself over time. Without these connective tissues and the ability to repair itself, the skin loses its flexibility and strength which can lead to pre-mature aging, making people look much older much faster. In addition to pre-mature aging, poor suncare can lead to a higher risk of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, in the United States, approximately five million people are treated for skin cancer every year. In a lifetime, about one in five Americans will develop and fight skin cancer with an estimated number of 9,940 people dying of melanoma skin cancer in 2015. Because poor suncare makes the skin more susceptible to aging and skin diseases such as cancer, it is very important to properly protect your skin from the sun.
With these risks of lack of sun protection, it is vital is exercising good, proper suncare. When searching for a sunscreen product, keep in mind the SPF. It is recommended to use a product with a minimum daily SPF of 50. Generously apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun. It usually takes the skin about 15 minutes to fully absorb the product. Remember to use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed parts of the body, even the hard-to-reach or easily forgotten places such as the feet, back, behind the knees and behind the ears. To protect your lips, use a lip balm with at least an SPF of 15. Reapply sunscreen every two hours throughout the day or after swimming or excessive sweating to ensure maximum sun protection. Also, to further protection your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, wear large brim hats and sunglasses. Larger brim hats provide shade for your face while sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun. Sun protective clothing with UPF is widely available and should be worn during the periods of sun exposure. It’s also important to seek the shade, especially during the hours of 10am-2pm. Be sure to keep these tips in mind so you can have good suncare and properly protect yourself.
For those concerned about sun-damaged skin, Dr. Goldenberg provides many treatments such as the V-Beam, Fraxel, and chemical peels to help rejuvenate and repair skin.This summer, protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by taking the necessary precautions and exercising good suncare. If you are concerned about sun-damaged skin, visit Dr. Goldenberg’s New York practice for a consultation.