Here in Arizona, the sun is shining for 300-plus days each year, making it especially important to protect and care for your skin. And during the summer, the intense heat and sun pose a number of risks. Without proper protection, you can easily end up with sunburns, long-term skin damage, and a significantly higher risk of skin cancer.
Luckily, you can take several simple steps to care for your skin during our long, hot summers. Whether you like to soak up the sun or stick to the air-conditioned indoors, being proactive can save your skin – and even your life.
- Make sunscreen an everyday habit.
If you aren’t applying quality sunscreen every single day – even during the cooler seasons – now is the time to start. It’s a common misconception that sunscreen is reserved for when you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, but it’s actually something you should be using on a daily basis.
Sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer, premature wrinkles and aging, and sunburns. However, choosing the right sunscreen and using it correctly is key.
- Only use broad-spectrum sunscreens, which protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15, though a higher SPF is even better.
- Read the sunscreen label for specifics on proper use.
- You need to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.
- Make plans to reapply sunscreen about every two hours or more regularly if you are sweating or swimming.
- Aim to use enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass – most people don’t apply enough.
- Using clothing and accessories for sun protection.
Even if you want to rock a bikini or swim trunks this summer, you can still accessorize with sun safety in mind:
- Choose sunglasses that are labeled as providing 100% UV protection. Ideally, wear sunglasses that offer full-coverage eye protection.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck – two areas that will experience the most significant premature aging from sun exposure.
- There are many different options for stylish cover-ups that can help minimize your skin’s exposure to the sun. Find a few favorites and use them anytime you aren’t in the water.
And when you’re not at the pool – for example, when you’re on the golf course, tackling yard work, and the like – look for clothing that offers UV protection.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Most Arizonians are well-aware that drinking water is a must during summer. Dehydration doesn’t just affect your body; it also impacts your skin – and nobody wants tight, flaky, dry skin.
In addition to drinking enough water, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer twice daily. This will help replenish thirsty skin and help you maintain a dewy, fresh-faced complexion all summer long.
Take Care of Your Skin Year-Round with Affiliated Dermatology®
These sun safety basics are essential for skin cancer prevention, and they are smart steps to prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and sun damage. At Affiliated Dermatology®, we can help you nourish your skin, choose proper sun protection, and even heal signs of previous sun damage. And with multiple offices across the Valley, there’s always an Affiliated Dermatology® near you.
Contact us today to schedule a skin consultation!
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