At approximately 22 square feet, your skin is your body’s largest organ and, as such, needs special TLC during the summer. But did you know that sunscreen isn’t the only product that can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays?
Dr. Richard Pavelock, Ronnita Holden, PA, and all the providers at Family Medicine and Acute Care of Sandhills are dedicated to taking care of your total health, and this includes your skin.
In addition to providing routine care and managing any chronic conditions you live with, we’re excited to educate you about vital preventive care as well. Protecting your skin is one of the most important steps you can take in the effort to avoid skin damage and skin cancer.
SPF, or sun protection factor, is the number that accompanies any product that offers protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, which cause burning and skin damage. The number reflects the length of time the product can protect your skin, if used correctly, before you burn.
An SPF of 30 offers a half-hour of protection, while a level 50 offers nearly an hour’s worth of protection.
Many products on the market help you combat sun damage, but we’ve found five that we really like. They offer real protection for your skin, and they’re not budget busters.
Traditional sunscreen is, let’s face it, greasy, white, and hard to rub in well. Several companies manufacture lighter, less greasy versions specifically designed to be worn under your makeup.
Liquid foundations with SPF protection exist, and most have an SPF level of 15. That shouldn’t be the only thing you wear on your skin when you’re frolicking in the sun, but it’s a great complementary product to combine with a traditional higher SPF sunscreen.
There are numerous protective lip tint and balm choices on the market that protect your pucker from UV damage. Whether you’re a no-frills ChapStick® lover or you prefer a hint of color, these products are available in stick, cream, and gloss forms.
It’s easy to focus on your exposed skin when thinking about protection, but the scalp shouldn’t be overlooked. It may be covered with hair, but your scalp is part of your epidermis and especially vulnerable to the sun. After all, its rays hit the top of your head first.
Special scalp sunscreens are sold that offer true SPF protection, but they don’t weigh down your locks or give them a greasy look. They can also be applied to your scalp in targeted ways, with specially designed nozzles and brushes.
Not all sun protection comes in a bottle. Bathing suit cover-ups, rash guards, shirts, hats, and other garments are all made with fabrics that have built-in UPF — or UV protection factor. This means that the product keeps out a percentage of UV radiation.
Look for a UPF of 50 when you buy something, but be aware that stretching, exposure to water, and repeated wear all reduce its effectiveness. You need to replace these pieces regularly.
In addition to using protective products, try to stay out of the sun during the hours that it can do the most damage to your skin, or between 10am and 4pm.
Be a shade seeker, but if you can’t avoid exposure, be sure to use some of the innovative products mentioned here that offer protection, in addition to your regular sunscreen.
We’re here to consult with you and provide care for any health concern you have, and we’re invested in providing you with educational resources as well. Call our Cameron, North Carolina, office to book an appointment, or contact us through our website.