How to Protect Yourself from the Sun

Our dermatologist explains sun protection, simplified.


The single best anti-aging tip? Wear sun protection every day, all year round. The UVA rays found in tanning booths are present in the atmosphere all year, and travel through glass. Protection is needed even on work days, as driving to and from work, and incidental daily exposure adds up fast.

Most of our skin “aging” is sun damage. Don’t believe it? Compare the skin in your underarm or on your buttocks with the skin on your face and chest. OK, if you tan nude in a booth, well, you are in for bigger trouble than simply saggy , leathery skin!


Here are my ten favorite sunscreen tips:


1). Wear a sunscreen/ moisturizer combo every day, under your makeup or alone.


2) SPFs will be changing, with new guidelines in place by the end of 2012. For now, know that SPF 15 ,properly chosen and applied , is adequate for work days. For days with more exposure, SPF 30-45 should be chosen.


3) Choose your sunscreen/moisturizer wisely. Read the labels! For best UVA coverage, look for these ingredients:
Mexoryl (ecamsule)
Avobenzone(parasol 1789 or Neutrogena’s Helioplex are synonyms)
Titanium dioxide(mineral sunscreen)
Zinc oxide (mineral sunscreen)

The more of these superior ingredients, the better. UVA causes loss of elasticity and skin blotching, and who wants brown spots on her face, or a wrinkly neck and chest?

4) Apply your product after cleansing the face, and while nude, so you can cover the neck and chest generously and not soil clothing.


5) Don’t be stingy! To get the protection expected, one teaspoon or 5 ml are necessary for face and neck. More will be needed to protect chest. Try measuring one teaspoon of cream , and apply in “cycles”….. Dot on skin, rub cream in, wait…Dot on skin again, rub in, wait…repeat until the teaspoon is used. When out in a bathing suit, a full shot glass-ful is the recommendation to cover the exposed skin.


6) Buy a fragrance-free sunscreen. Much of the sunscreen intolerance or allergy is due to the added fragrance.


7) Reapply,reapply,reapply. New labeling will insist that sunscreen manufacturers will have to prove their products work longer than 2 hours. Reapplication is always best to assure protection given humidity, sweating, as well as the probability that one has not applied enough, or has missed a spot.


8) Can’t reapply? Use a mineral powder with titanium dioxide. Bare Escentuals, Colorscience, Peter Thomas Roth, and others make good ones that are tinted, and self contained with brushes, so touching up over facial makeup is easy.


9) Pregnant? Avoid oxybenzone, which may be a hormonal disrupter. Children should also avoid oxybenzone, and stick to mineral sunscreen products.


10) Never, ever use a tanning booth. This artificial tan is not only NOT protective when outdoors, but greatly raises your risk of melanoma, a potentially fatal skin cancer. Use your sunscreen wisely as protection outdoors, and don’t fall for the lies perpetrated by the tanning industry.


Great skin is within everyone’s reach,and it starts with protecting it from the sun’s rays every day.

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