Practicing safe skin is always in, but it is especially important to protect your skin during one of its’ most vulnerable times – summer. With the sun at its’ peak UV and a plethora of outdoor activities to participate in – ice cream trucks! boat rides! the beach! the pool! vacays on vacays! – one of your top priorities should be keeping your skin in check.
I recently visited my resident dermatologist, Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York Dermatology Group, for a full-body skin exam. Skin exams are so easy to get done, yet often forgotten about, so here’s a free 12ish reminder for you – GET YOUR SKIN EXAMINED!!! This is one of the easiest ways to practice safe skin, and all medical dermatologists perform them. Make sure to get your skin checked both before and after the summer to monitor for any skin changes.
While I was in, Dr. Weiser also shared with me some more of her skin safety tips…
– Sunscreen should be broad-spectrum with both UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours when used on dry skin and every 40 – 80 minutes on wet/sweaty skin, according to the label on the product. It’s important to note that SPF is only a measure of UVB protection, which are the ultraviolet rays responsible for sunburn. SPF should be at least 30 for any sun protection product.
– Drink a lot of water to keep skin cells plump and hydrated when you’re sweating and in dry heat.
– Sunglasses are crucial for protecting the eyes and the retina from ultraviolet damage. Look for at least 99% UV filter and polarized lenses for the best protection, and seek shade when possible, especially during peak sun hours of 10am-4pm.
– Avoid tanning – there is no such thing as a healthy tan. All tans are considered sun damage to the skin and a sign of inadequate sun protection. Especially avoid tanning beds and lamps which can significantly contribute to skin damage and risk of skin cancer.
– Monitor your own skin monthly for ABCDE’s of melanoma- asymmetry, borders (hazy, scalloped, irregular), coloration (black, pink, red, multiple shades), diameter (>6mm historically although melanomas can be much smaller), and evolution (any chance in appearance, size, coloration, texture, thickness, symptoms such as itching or bleeding, etc.).
These next few tips may seem basic, but they’re worth repeating!
First things first, hit up Amazon and get yourself a nice wide brim hat (and a holiday appropriate one, too 😉 ). Not only will it make you look super chic and important, but it’s the first step in protecting your face from that sun.
Second is sunscreen…duh. Not to sound like your mom, but wearing sunscreen everyday is key. So many makeup products and moisturizers out there contain SPF, so find one you like and stick with it. These days, I’m loving Elizabeth Arden’s City Smart SPF50 and anything Supergoop!, like their SPF50 Setting Mist Sunscreen.
And lastly, if you’re a Melasma sufferer, like moi, you are gunna need to zinc up, big time. Until I can make the zinc of my dreams, Zinka is my go-to for my sun mustache and nose coat 🙂 NOTE: The only thing that can protect you from Melasma is a physical blocker like zinc – SPF alone will not do it.
Got a mole you’re not too sure about it? Need to round out your SPF game plan for the summer? Got Melasma? I’ve got you covered.