With summer in full swing, it’s impossible not to soak up some sun. But, without properly protecting your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, there’s a risk of developing uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, and even, skin cancer. Dermatology fact: tanning is your skin’s way of trying to protect itself from insult and a damage.
That being said, be proactive and enjoy the sun but wisely. The following tips will help you experience all that summer has to offer while keeping your skin healthy and youthful.
Don’t Skimp on Sunscreen
If you’re a skincare junkie, then you’re probably well aware of the benefits of wearing sunscreen. But, even if you’re already practicing such good habits, the benefits cannot be understated. Regularly wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways of protecting against skin aging and developing skin cancer.
When it comes to sunscreen, there are lots of products out there to choose from. Here are some guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology to keep in mind:
- SPF stands for sun protection factor. It indicates the strength of blockade against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are the more common of the two types of radiation reaching earth from the sun. It does not include protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, also very damaging. UVA are the type used in most commercial tanning booths. They penetrate deeper and can cause substantial skin aging. A label that reads broad-spectrum means it blocks both UVA and UVB.
- So, always select a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Both chemical and physical (also known as mineral because they contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) sunscreens are effective depending on the specific ingredients. Some are better than others, and people with sensitive or acne-prone skin are often more reactive to chemical ingredients. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist. At Aesthetx, we prefer mineral-based formulas, since the tiny metal molecules shield your skin across the board. Essentially a shield, even with newer products that are weightless and melt into the skin, so no white paste or cakey film.
- Aim for an SPF of 30 plus. The latest data suggest higher number really is better.
- When possible, it’s best to choose a sunscreen that is water- and/or sweat-resistant, especially if you’re goimg to be swimming. And reapply after any water contact. Nothing is truly water “proof.”
- Apply sunscreen every day. Not just when you plan to sit by the pool, play in the sand, or hike your next vista.
Very importantly, most people only use about 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. You should be applying enough to cover any skin that is exposed to the sun. For most adults, this is about 1 ounce (or a shot glass) of sunscreen. Yes that alot, but you don’t achieve anywhere near the protection stated on the bottle if you don’t use a sufficient amount.
And be sure to reapply about every two hours. Even those of us who are good about putting sunscreen on it the morning, often use too little, too infrequently. Power sunscreens are a great option for reapplication (Dr. Hausauer keeps one in her bag at all times).
Be Proactive with Your Skin’s Health
It’s estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during his or her lifetime. Many of these are easily treated without treat to your overall health. But being your own advocate and scout is important. Get into the habit of checking your body head-to-toe for moles and skin changes regularly. Monthly is usually more than sufficient, especially if you have a personal or family history of melanoma.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Moles that are unusually large (grater than the size of an eraser or 6 mm diameter)
- Moles that have irregular edges or are uneven in color. If it has a tail or legs, good to get a professional opinion.
- Moles that have changed over time (“evolution”), or have become itchy, painful, or bleeding
If you notice any of the above, it’s important to make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask; that’s what your physician is there for. In the event you do have a serious condition, such as melanoma, your chances of a complete cure increase when treated and detected early.
Got Sun Damage? It’s Not Too Late to Treat It
It’s never too late to start protecting your skin, but sometimes the damage is already done. For those, whose skin is in need of some TLC, there are plenty of treatment options to help restore your skin’s luminosity and health. UV rays contribute to changes from the top layers all the way down to the fat, so this is often a comprehensive and combination approach , including medical therapies, laser or light procedures, as well as injectable fillers.
Lasers really stand out in this regard. For instance, Dr. Hausauer frequently combines several different devices into a customized plan that suits your needs. We love Halo + BBL because it addressed multiple layers from multiple angles. Think:
- Reduced discoloration and sun spots
- Minimized blood vessels and flushing
- Improved skin texture
The beauty of modern aesthetics is that we have lots of different treatment options that can be precisely adjusted to target what bothers you most. It’s usually a process, and we love guiding patients to their most radiant selves.
With this in mind, as summer gets underway, stay on top of your skin’s health by schedulingconsultation for cosmetic or medical dermatology services at Aesthetx. Their cutting-edge treatments and experienced team would be happy to evaluate your skin and recommend the best treatments. Contact their office to book a personal consultation today.