Posted by Dr. Margo Weishar
We all know that sun is bad for your skin by now- I mean don’t we? Brown spots, sagging, lines, large pores not to mention the bad one- skin cancer- and I don’t mean just the ones like Basal Cell that we can cure but also the really scary Melanoma kind. But here are ten ways you can protect your skin and still enjoy the active outside lifestyle.
- Get a hat- no not a baseball cap- one with a brim. It will cover your head and neck and keep you cooler than exposing your head. Try Tilley hats available online and in lots of outdoor stores.
- SPF clothing- its arrived- finally- cool activewear made of SPF 50 fabric. Its available from Athleta, Gap, and sold in golf stores, gardening stores, REI and EMS
- Wear a rash guard when doing water sports- Surfers have been doing this for years- it just makes sense to cover up your exposed parts when lying on a board in the middle of a large reflective surface
- Don’t lie out on a blanket in the sun covered with oil. just don’t. Thats so 60s. You might as well just wear mom jeans.
- Bring an umbrella to the beach. Lie under it. If you are a lifeguard insist on some shade.
- If you really really must be brown in the summer treat yourself to a awesome spray tan. Just don’t expect it to allow you to lie out in the sun. see #4
- Go running in the morning, or at sunset. Ditto for other outside sports. Its prettier then and if you get up early you will get more done during the day. And its not as hot
- Watch out for medicines that can make you sun sensitive. If you take Doxycycline for acne you can burn much faster in the sun. When in doubt ask your doctor.
- Take Vitamin D3. Ok I can hear the chorus now- “Whaa- I need my vitamin D- you are taking it away from me!” Nothing could be more simple- firstly- your vitamin D4 in your body is converted to the active form D3 within 15 minutes of sun exposure. Kinda takes away your plan to like out all day doesn’t it? Also the converted form Vitamin D3 is pretty much available anywhere vitamins are sold. So if you are a dedicated sun avoider you can take 1000mg (1 little pill) or if you are low on Vitamin D- 2000mg (that 2 little pills) to build it up again and then switch to one. You can ask your doctor to check a vitamin D level to see where you stand.
- And last but certainly not least- Sunscreen for your face and for your body. Facial sunscreens should take into account your particular skin needs as the wrong ones can exacerbate conditions like acne, rosacea and dermatitis. Facial sunscreens can come in many varieties and your dermatologist can recommend ones best for your skin type. The most important two words to look for now are not SPF they are BROAD SPECTRUM. Trust me- there is so much confusion over the right SPF that it is no longer worthwhile to talk about them. But what you do need is a screen that covers all the damaging sun rays. The safest contain forms of zinc that have been ground down enough to spread over your skin without looking like Casper.
So as you can see its is insanely easy to protect your skin. Even if you cheat once in a while you are still cutting out most of your lifetime supply of UV damage. Just do it.