Summer Skincare

Living in the Pacific Northwest we do not see warm, sunny weather all that often until summer. This time of the year we enjoy spending time outside doing many different activities. While we are outside soaking up all of the sunshine we also need to think about protecting our skin. One of the best ways to protect ourselves is to use sunscreen.

According to the Cleveland Clinic the immediate danger of too much sun is sunburn. If you looked at sunburned skin under a strong microscope, you would see that the cells and blood vessels have been damaged. With repeated sun damage, the skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery. Although the skin appears to be thicker, it actually has been weakened and, as a result, it will bruise more easily. However, the sun’s most serious threat is that it is the major cause of skin cancer, which is now the most common of all cancers. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be avoided by preventing sun damage. The following picture shows someone under normal light on the left, and ultraviolet light on right to show sun damage.

Sun Damage

There are many different brands of sunscreen which can be overwhelming to pick one if you don’t know which one you need.  All sunscreens have an SPF (sun protection factor) number so the higher the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. To fully protect your skin from sun damage, everyone should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Sunscreen

So when you get older if you don’t want to look older than you are or possibly deal with skin cancer, wear sunscreen. Here are some tips from the Cleveland Clinic on correctly applying sunscreen:

  • Apply the sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you go outdoors, whenever you will be exposed for 30 minutes or more.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are outdoors, even if the product is labeled “all-day.” If you get wet or perspire heavily, reapply sunscreen more frequently.
  • Cover all exposed areas, including your ears, lips, face and back of your hands.
  • Don’t skimp; apply a generous layer. Smooth it on rather than rub it in.
  • Women should apply sunscreen under makeup. If you wait to apply sunscreen until you hit the beach, you may already be perspiring, and moisture makes sunscreens less effective.
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