woman-applying-sunscreenBy now you should know that sunscreen isn’t just for beach days, it should be worn every day to protect skin from sun damage. With repeated sun damage, skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery, and over time, skin begins to 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. Up to 90 percent of skin cancers are associated with UV exposure. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes.

Protecting your skin from the possibility of damage is the first line of defense. Want to know how to protect skin from the sun? You can do this by using sunscreen each and every time you go outside to protect skin from sun damage.  Even those who “tan easily” should wear sunscreen to protect skin from sun damage. Remember, sunburn is an immediate reaction, but damage from the sun occurs over a lifetime. Consider these tips before heading out into the sun.

  • Choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA to protect skin from sun damage. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).
  • Choose a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher for UVB protection. Wearing a daily moisturizer with SPF in it can defend your skin from harmful rays each and every day, and keeps you covered on days when you may otherwise forget to apply sunscreen. Dr. LaMond’s Daily SPF Moisturizer provides a SPF of 30 and provides a physical barrier to harmful UVA/UVB rays to protect skin from sun damage.
  • People who have sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea may benefit from using sunscreens designed for children. These sunscreens are gentler on the skin. If you have skin irritation or allergies, avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.
  • If you’re going to be exercising or in the water, you might want to consider a sunscreen resistant to water and sweat.  Keep in mind, though, that water resistant sunscreen means that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. Very water resistant means it holds after 80 minutes of swimming. There is no such thing as water proof sunscreen.  All sunscreen needs to be reapplied after activity, time in the water or prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Keep in mind that umbrellas or shade trees provide only moderate protection from ultraviolet light, and they don’t protect you from rays reflected off sand, snow, concrete and many other surfaces. Ultraviolet light can easily penetrate water, so being in the water doesn’t protect you, either. So, even in the shade you’ll need to wear sunscreen to protect skin from sun damage.

So before you head out the door this summer, make sure you have taken precautions to protect your skin from the sun. And have freckles and moles checked annually by your doctor or dermatologist for signs of skin cancer or abnormalities. If you notice a mole that is larger than a pencil eraser, scabby, hard or lumpy, jagged around the edges, uneven in color, or starting to itch, ooze or bleed, see your doctor stat.

Photo courtesy of sheknows.com