Ahh, summer — the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and your skin is bronzed. A good tan can boost your confidence and make you feel happier and healthier thanks to the ultraviolet (UV) rays that help your body produce vitamin D.
Unfortunately, UV rays come with more damage than benefits when you lie out in the sun for too long. Not only are UV rays linked to skin cancer — including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer — but UV exposure is also infamous for causing premature wrinkles, age spots (sun spots), and even degenerative changes in your blood vessels.
You can take simple precautions to protect your skin, though. Dr. Divina Averilla, founder of Love Your Body Medical Spa, shares six easy tips to keep your skin healthy through the summer.
1. Wear sunscreen
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: The best way to protect your skin from UV rays when you go outside is to wear sunscreen! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the sun can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes — if you’re going to be out longer than that, definitely slather on the sunscreen. This simple step can protect you against skin cancer and premature skin aging.
Plus, sunscreen formulas have come a long way in recent years. You can now find dry-touch sprays and lotions that don’t leave a greasy feel, so you can’t use that as an excuse.
2. Wear protective clothing
All skin types can benefit from wearing protective clothing and gear in addition to sunscreen, but especially fair skin. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a parka in the heat of summer: Something as simple as a loose, airy, long-sleeve swim cover-up will do. Sunglasses and hats offer an extra layer of protection.
3. Find shaded and indoor activities
Carefully planning your summer activities can do a lot to protect your skin from the sun. For outdoor activities, try to find shade, such as under a large tree in the park or under a pavilion. You can also find plenty of fun indoor activities during the summer, such as visiting museums and art galleries, playing racquetball, or even building a maze in your own home to entertain your children.
4. Time your activities carefully
If you do plan to engage in outdoor activities, plan around the sun’s peak hours. Try to get outside in the morning or evening, and save 10am to 2pm for indoor or shaded activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sun produces the strongest UV rays during those midday hours.
5. Use after-sun lotion or aloe vera gel
If you happen to get sunburned (oops!), treat your skin with an after-sun lotion or aloe vera gel. Even though these topical treatments aren’t proven to reverse sunburns or prevent sun damage, they can moisturize your skin with much-needed nutrients, such as vitamin E, and provide relief from painful sunburns.
6. Avoid tanning beds
The last thing you want to do is exacerbate skin problems by exposing your skin to UV rays you could entirely avoid. The CDC advises against indoor tanning because it’s known to contribute to the development of skin cancer; indoor tanning does utilize the same kind of UV radiation that comes from the sun, after all.
To learn more about taking care of your skin and looking your best this summer, schedule a consultation with Dr. Averilla today. Call our Las Vegas, Nevada, office at 702-342-0028 or request your appointment online. You can also send a message to Dr. Averilla and the team here on the website.