With the hot summer months here, now is the best time to think about your skin (if you haven’t already). And, most importantly, now is the time to think about skin care. We’ve heard it all before: the sun wreaks havoc on our skin. And while it’s a cliché, the truth is that it is a cliché for a reason. Besides the worry of skin cancer, overexposure to the sun without protection can damage the skin, making it look and feel old and worn down. While it is so important to protect your skin from the sun, many people are unsure how to do so. Below are some ways to make sure that your skin stays healthy while you enjoy your summer, whether you’re at the beach, pool, or park!

How Does the Sun Harm Your Skin?

While a summer tan does look great, burning and damaging your skin is not something anyone wants to do. Ultraviolet light (both UVA and UVB) are found in the sun’s rays. Both can easily hurt your skin, but they do so differently. UVA light rays have longer wavelengths than UVB light. Because of this, UVA light is able to enter the top and middle layer of the skin (the dermis). These rays cause damage to the skin on a more internal level. It is UVA light that cause some skin cancers and other skin-damage issues. UVB light rays, on the other hand, have a shorter wavelength and are only able to reach and affect the epidermis (the outer layer of skin). UVB light rays are what cause our skin to tan and burn. Both types of light dry out the skin and cause damage that can be dangerous and long lasting.

What Is the Best Way to Protect Your Skin?

It is no secret that limiting your exposure to direct sunlight and wearing sunblock when you’re out in the sun are the most effective ways to protect your skin

While it may not always be the most fun, especially if you’re in the middle of a game, taking a break from the sun is one of the best ways to help your skin. In the shade, a very limited amount of UV light is able to reach your skin. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outside; instead, it just means that you should enjoy it the smart way.

Whether you are in direct sunlight or in the shade, wearing sunblock and/or skin care products with SPF is the smarted thing you can do for your skin. The SPF stands for “sun protection factor.” The number after SPF tells you how long (in minutes) that sunblock will protect you from UV rays. So, SPF 50 should protect your skin from harmful light for 50 minutes. It is strongly recommended that you wear sunblock or lotion that is SPF 30 or higher. Additionally, you should be actively reapplying sunblock every one or two hours.

Enjoy the Summer…

Just make sure that you enjoy your summer the smart and right way. We all look forward to trips to the beach and getting that nice golden tan, but no one wants to deal with dried-out skin that makes you look and feel older than you are. By just making a few small changes to your summer routine, you can enjoy the summer sun and still have soft, smooth, and beautiful skin to show off afterwards.

For more information about sun protection or other skin care needs, contact Dr. Ariel Ostad online or call us at 212-517-7900.

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