Summer is almost here, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Along with summer fun comes the potential for sun damaged skin. Caring for your skin is important all year round, but if you spend a lot of time in the sun, caring for your skin in the summer is especially important.

You’re more exposed in the summer. We know winter sun and dry conditions are especially damaging. Snow is highly reflective and bounces UV rays right up onto your face. The same happens when you spend time at the pool and beach. The biggest difference is that on the slopes you are most likely covered in ski pants and a heavy jacket. We don’t think you’ll be covered head-to-toe in UV resistant clothing while you’re lounging by the pool.

As much as we love the sun, it is even more important to respect it. UV radiation is a carcinogen, and the skin cancer foundation estimates that 90 percent of avoidable skin damage is sun related. The good news is that they’ve also found that using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 reduces the amount of sun related skin aging by 24 percent. And it’s never too late to start. Sun damage accumulates over our entire lifetime, so sun damage at 18 is going to show up when you are much older.

That’s enough gloom and doom.

Caring for your skin in the summer doesn’t have to put a damper on your summer fun. But, it is very important. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to make it through the summer with glowing, healthy skin.

Maintain Your Year Round Skincare Routine

If you aren’t doing these things, start now for summer and don’t stop.

  • Regularly exfoliate your skin using a product that is right for your skin type.
  • Moisturize at night and in the morning.
  • Stay hydrated. Water is your skin’s best friend.
  • Soothe your skin. Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help soothe skin that’s been overexposed to the sun. Better yet, just don’t get too much sun. While Aloe is soothing, it isn’t going to reverse skin damage.

While you are outside

Avoid mid-day sun if you can. The sun is strongest in mid day. Seek shade between 11am and 3pm, and limit the majority of outdoor activity to morning and early evening. Whatever you do, please don’t sunbathe in the middle of the day. You’re just asking for trouble.

The best advice is to avoid direct sun exposure whenever possible. There is no such thing as a safe suntan.

Sunscreen

It should be clear by now that the number one thing to do for your skin this summer is wear sunscreen. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Everyone needs sunscreen. No matter what your skin type, your skin is susceptible to sun damage.
  • Use sunscreen every day, not just when you are at the beach or pool.  
  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays age your skin. UVB rays burn yours kin.
  • We recommend a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. An SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 90 percent of the sun’s rays. No sunscreen can completely block the sun’s rays.
  • Apply sunscreen before you go out into the sun, preferably 20 minutes in advance. Make it a routine. Get out of the shower, apply sunscreen.
  • Reapply regularly. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. If you’ve been sweating or been in the water, reapply and try to wait 15-20 minutes before going back out into the sun.
  • Using sunscreen may reduce the amount of vitamin D you get from the sun. But unless you have a deficiency due to some underlying condition, or spend 90 percent of your daylight hours indoors, you should be fine. If you are concerned, there are a lot of healthy foods that contain vitamin D. You can get more than your daily recommended dose by eating foods that are also good for your skin.

Now that you know you need sunscreen, you need to know what sunscreen to use. Here are some of our favorite sunscreens.

EltaMD

EltaMD makes a wide variety of sunscreens for every type of skin and every type of person. They make Skin Cancer Foundation recommended, tinted and untinted sunscreens for your face. Special formulas include oil-free sunscreens for skin that is prone to rosacea and acne, a 100 percent physical sun barrier cream, and a few sunscreens formulated especially for sensitive skin or skin that has recently undergone certain medspa procedures. EltaMD also has a full selection of full-body sunscreens.

Exuviance

Most Exuviance products and treatments for daytime use include broad spectrum SPF protection. They offer a multi-protective day cream that combines powerful sun protection with antioxidants and other skin-enhancing ingredients, and an SPF 35 day cream that reduces dark spots and helps to even skin tone.

Obagi

Obagi offers a broad variety of excellent, Skin Cancer Foundation recommended sunscreens. Their products include micronized zinc and vitamin C to protect your skin from the sun while providing it much needed antioxidants and vitamins. With almost a dozen sunscreens to choose from, Obagi has something for everyone.

Follow these tips and your skin will survive the summer. Meanwhile, we’re here to help you maintain healthy, younger looking skin all year round. Schedule a consultation and we’ll help you develop a long-term healthy skin regimen.