Summer vacation is underway, which means pools, water parks and lakes are packed with families and vacationers soaking in some time in the sun. With the official start of summer less than two weeks away, it’s important to remember to be kind to your skin — whether you’re out on the beach or just cutting your grass at home. Just as it’s important to focus on internal heart health, it’s important to keep in mind skin care as well
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that sunscreens have an SPF of at least 30, be water resistant and broad spectrum, meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Some of the best ingredients to meet all these requirements are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens. “These are really good because they stay on top of your skin and don’t get absorbed like some of the others. People will have a lot less reaction,” said Dr. Payton Card, an internal medicine doctor at Arkansas Heart Hospital.
Dr. Card says if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, you should lather up no matter what you’re doing. “If you’re not getting wet or sweaty, you might only have to put it on one time if you’re only going to be out for a couple of hours.”
With the proper sunscreen use, you can still enjoy the Vitamin D, emotional and metabolic benefits of being out in the sun – just without the nasty sunburn. You might not tan as quickly as you’d hope, but experiencing these benefits and practicing good skin care are well worth it.
Bad sunburns early in life, tanning oils and other methods put people at a greater risk for skin problems down the road. Using tanning products might be a quick fix for getting a tan, but they will likely increase your risk of developing cancer later in life.
Other summer skin care recommendations include:
- Avoid being in the sun from 10am-2pm. If you are outside during these hours, make sure you have adequate sunscreen protection.
- Use a water resistant sunscreen. Water resistant means if you’re sweating or getting in and out of the water, the sunscreen has been rated to provide the protection it’s been advertised with for up to 40 minutes.
- If you aren’t sweating or in the water, reapply every two hours.
- Look for sunscreens with the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- If you have acne, alcohol based lotions and creams work well.
- Use sunscreen even if you’re not prone to sunburn — if you don’t get visible sunburns, you’re still receiving the harmful UVA and UVB rays.
For more on summer skin care, click here to see a conversation with Dr. Card on the importance of sunscreen with Channel 7 news.