How to protect your skin from harmful sunshine this summer
Applying a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen to exposed skin is the best way to prevent sun damage. But did you burn or burned when you thought you were protected? Most of us have. I have seen this happen to my patients over and over again in my 30+ years of dermatology practice. Here is my main list of errors that my patients and I learned from years of experience in using sunscreen:
Major sunscreen mistakes to avoid:
1. Use expired sunscreen.
Sunscreen is classified by the FDA as a drug and has a shelf life. The sunscreen expires and each test tube contains an expiration date. Throw away old sunscreen that has expired. You should also throw away sunscreen that has been stored at extreme temperatures or climatic conditions, as the formula and active substances could break. Active UV filter chemical ingredients are particularly fragile. Some actually break each other as the formula sits in a container.
Decision: At the beginning of the sunny season, check the expiration date of the sunscreen. Use only fresh sunscreen that has not expired. Discard any sunscreen that looks as if it has seen risky storage conditions, even if the shelf life has not expired.
2. Do not apply enough sunscreen.
The protective factor of sunscreens depends on the dose of the product you use. Most people do not wear enough, which means that SPF 50 sunscreen does not give you SPF 50 protection. Studies show that people apply 25-50% of the required amount of sunscreen to their skin. Do not let this be you, if you depend on protection.
Decision: Adults should put 1 ounce (glass) of the product on the skin when wearing a bathing suit. The face and front of the neck need an average of 5 cents. This is about 1/3 to ½ teaspoon of the product depending on your hairstyle and clothes. It does not include the scalp.
Yes, all this is based on the surface area of the skin of an ordinary person. Increase or decrease if you think that you may have more or less the average for the country – but be careful to get enough sunscreen. Then look and see how good your defense is. You got tanned? If so, you need more product. Sunburn means that the skin has been damaged by ultraviolet rays.
3. Do not reapply every 2 hours and after bathing, sweating or wiping the product.
The sunscreen comes off, so you need to reapply it. It also breaks as it blocks ultraviolet rays. Chemical UV filters (hydroxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, ekamula, etc.) are rapidly destroyed. Each blocked beam destroys chemical filters because these filters work. Mineral filters (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) reflect and scatter rays and are more stable. They eventually break.
Decision: If you rely on sunscreen to protect your skin, you need to apply it every 2 hours in the sun – uncomfortable, but surely. You also need to reapply it when it is washed or wiped off your skin.
4. Wear sunscreen only on sunny days or in the sun in the middle of the day.
Clouds do not sufficiently block ultraviolet rays to prevent sun damage. In addition, UVA is absent all day – the sun in the sun, and this beam is ready to damage your skin. The damage is more subtle because UVA is less prone to tanning your skin. It causes thinning of the skin, wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancer, although it takes time.
Decision: Get used to apply sunscreen on open skin every morning.
5. Depending on the sunscreen in your makeup or moisturizer, to give you protection.
If it is you, ask yourself 3 questions:
- Do you really add ¼ to ½ tsp of these products every day or use less? Remember that the amount of sunscreen you apply is important and directly related to SPF protection. Does your application of moisturizer or makeup other goals, for example, how your skin feels or looks? Could this lead to the fact that you will use too little product to obtain the declared SPF?
- Read the active ingredients UV filters. Is it zinc oxide? Usually not. Often, UV filters for make-up and moisturizing are chemical filters that expire, and first of all they provide poor protection.
- What is the SPF listed on the product? Is it 30+ and wide range? This is what you want to protect from the sun. Very few makeup and moisturizing products have high SPF protection.
Decision: Use real broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen applied in the right amount. Separate your moisturizing and make-up step from the sunscreen step. Look at your skin care routine as a collection of products that gives your skin the ultimate look and feel you like. In this layering process, turn on a truly top-notch sunscreen. Remember that full skin care during the day includes the main stages: cleansing, correction, moisturizing, protection. Makeup layered on top. The only exception is that if you use sunscreen applied in the right amount, it also moisturizes your skin and provides a pleasant shade that duplicates makeup. Then you are well protected. But sunscreen should be dosed appropriately.
6. Fully dependent on sunscreen for sun protection.
Sunscreen is a lot of work. An adult in a bathing suit, applying 1 ounce every 2 hours, passes through a 4 ounce tube for a full day outside. It is impractical, and it is a lot of product. Have you ever heard of the absorption of chemical UV-active sunscreens? This is the trend this year. The FDA never intended for people to apply this much sunscreen. I never recommended this either. Use several strategies to protect your skin.
Decision: Wear sun-protective clothing (not only a T-shirt, you need UPF 50 clothing when you are in extreme conditions of exposure to ultraviolet radiation). If you averagely go out in the sun and get out of it, your regular clothes may be adequate. But look and see if you sunbathe through it. Over the years I have performed a complete examination of the skin, and believe me, my back and arms caught fire through light summer cloth.
Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Use only a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30+. Reapply as indicated.
Stroke your skin with a hat and sun umbrella and try to stay in the shade.
Know your impact. You will be surprised to learn that ultraviolet rays are reflected from your shade, and some penetrate through the window glass. My Detecto Ring is a fun learning tool.
Click here to see the sunscreens that my patients and I have tested … they work!
These products are based on the comprehensive sun protection strategy I just outlined, and they will provide you and your family with intelligent sun protection from dermatologists.
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