Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors and soak up some vitamin D. However, it’s also the time when the sun’s rays are strongest, which means it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation! As Dr. Ava Shamban says, “Ultraviolet radiation is the biggest contributor to premature aging and skin cancer development that exists. You have complete control over your relationship with the skin.”
As LA’s premier dermatologist, Dr. Ava has some great tips and tricks for protecting your skin during the summer months so that you can still enjoy the outdoors – safely!
One of the most important things you can do to protect your skin from the sun is to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen works by absorbing or reflecting UV radiation, preventing it from damaging your skin. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure to look for one with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating, at least 30 or higher. You should also look for a water-resistant sunscreen, especially if you plan to swim or sweat. It’s important to apply sunscreen liberally and often, at least every two hours, and more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
Dr. Shamban warns, “If you don’t protect yourself against the sun with sunscreen, you’re going to pay for it in spades down the road.” It’s also important to avoid sunscreens that contain harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. She recommends sunscreens with mineral-based active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are safer for your skin and the environment.
Wear Protective Clothing
Another way to protect your skin from the sun is to wear protective clothing. Clothing can act as a physical barrier, preventing UV radiation from reaching your skin.
When choosing clothing for sun protection, look for items that are made from tightly woven fabrics and have a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating. Some examples of clothing items to wear for sun protection include hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants.
Don’t Forget Sunglasses for Style and Protection
Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, they’re also an important tool for protecting your eyes and the delicate skin around them!
When choosing sunglasses for sun protection, look for ones that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses can also be helpful in reducing glare, making it easier to see in bright sunlight. Many shops also can create prescription sunglasses, providing both protection and the vision support you may need to take in all the beautiful views while you’re outside. Best of all, finding truly sun-protective and stylish shades is more accessible than ever with a plethora of in-person and online shops.
Eat a Healthy Diet
While sunscreen and protective clothing can help prevent sun damage on the outside, what you eat can also play a role in protecting your skin from the inside out.
Dr. Shamban advises, “Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as multi-colored fruits and veggies, helps support your skin health when it’s attacked by ultraviolet radiation by improving repair mechanisms.”
While food alone won’t protect you from the ravages of sun exposure, some examples of foods that are good for skin health include fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, vitamin C and E, omega-3, and beta carotene.
Shield Your Skin This Summer
Protecting your skin from the sun is crucial for long-term skin health. By following these tips, you can enjoy the summer sun without putting your skin at risk. Remember to wear sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses, and eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. As Dr. Shamban says, “It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin.”