Summer is in full swing and that means sun protection and an added focus on skin care. Our medical staff shares some insights and actionable tips on how to best care for your skin this season.
From Our General Dermatology Center
Dr. Nicole P. Huffman, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who has practiced on the North Shore since 2012. She is on the medical staff of NorthShore University Health System, a diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Let’s start with the basics: sunscreen. This is an integral part of any skincare routine. If you plan to spend time outdoors, sunscreen is a must.
Dr. Huffman’s Tips
Make sure you’re using enough sunscreen. The recommended amount is 2 oz. and that’s about the amount that would fit in a large shot glass.
Reapply every two hours, especially if you have been swimming, working up a sweat, or toweling off.
The current COVID-19 pandemic means many of us are wearing masks throughout the day. If you’re regularly wearing a mask, it’s important to reapply sunscreen to your face consistently.
Get good coverage. Some areas that are easily overlooked include the eyelids, lips, inside the ears, behind the ears, the scalp and the part in your hair.
It can be tough to ensure kids are reapplying every two hours. This is where sun protective clothing can help. If they are wearing a hat, shirt, and pants with sun protection, then it may be easier to focus on applying sunscreen only on the hands, neck, face, and remaining exposed skin. The best option is to use a mixture of sun protective methods that work best for you.
Dr. Huffman says, “Keep in mind that most of the damage that causes skin cancer happens before the age of 20. Your young teens and young 20s are an important time to consistently use sunscreen and other methods of sun protection.”
Things To Look Out For
Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you’ve noticed any of the following:
New spots or moles
Changing spots or moles
Areas that don’t heal easily
Areas that easily bleed
For a general dermatology visit, Dr. Huffman recommends scheduling your skin check in the fall after the season of being in the sun.
From Our Center for Aesthetics
Shannon Marie Bell, RN, BSN, CANS, is the Center for Aesthetics Director, Registered Nurse and CANS Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist. She has dedicated her career to innovation, research, and teaching in nonsurgical aesthetics for over two decades. Below are some of her insights regarding sunscreen and sun protection.
There are lots of options for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Some of my favorites include daily sunscreen, physical barriers like hats and visors, and sun protective clothing. Sunscreen
There are two main types of sunscreen: physical and chemical.
Physical: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide-Based Sunscreens
Titanium and zinc are natural elements and are inert ingredients.
These sunscreens provide a good physical barrier, and act as a shield and reflect both UVA and UVB light.
The technology in these products has become much more advanced in recent years. The zinc molecule has been made smaller, which allows these sunscreens to be easily applied and blended without the noticeable white tinge that zinc sunscreens have been known for in the past.
Chemical Based Sunscreen
These types of sunscreens use chemicals to stop the absorption of UVA and UVB rays.
Homosalate and octinoxate are commonly used in chemicals sunscreens.
Steer away from sunscreens that include Parsol 17 and PABA. Parsol 17 – Studies show this chemical may cause DNA damage when exposed to sunlight. PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid) – Some studies show that UV radiation is more likely to damage DNA in the presence of PABA.
Some individuals may have a sensitivity to the chemicals in these types of sunscreens, and they may have better results with titanium and zinc-based options.
Comparing the two, chemical-based sunscreens break down more quickly than zinc and titanium-based sunscreens.
Incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine is simple. You can easily layer it with any other skin treatments that you use.
Keep in mind to apply the sunscreen first, and then foundation if you’re wearing makeup
Tinted sunscreens are a great option that provide both coverage and SPF protection.
No matter which type you choose, the most important aspect is to wear sunscreen and reapply it every two hours.
Hats and Visors
Wearing a hat or visor physically blocks the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. These are great elements to include in your daily outdoor wear.
Sun Protective Clothing
Sun protective clothing is readily available online and from many clothing retailers. This type of clothing is labeled with UPF, which stands for ultraviolet protection factor. In regular clothing, UV light can penetrate through the small holes in the weaves of the fabric. UPF clothing blocks both UVB and UVA rays from reaching your skin. The UPF specifies how much UV radiation the fabric allows through to your skin. For example, a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98 percent of the sun's rays and allows two percent (1/50th) to penetrate.
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