Who knows how to protect skin from sun damage better than a dermatologist? Tace Rico, MD, dermatologist, at AdventHealth, gladly shares her best practices to protect her skin, and her children's skin, from sun damage.
Use sunscreen every day and a foundation with sun protection in it.
Protecting your skin from the sun isn't something you should do only at the beach, it's necessary every day. Much of what people think is normal aging, like wrinkles and sun spots, are actually the result of sun damage and can be avoided with proper sun protection, Dr. Rico says. And don't neglect to use sunscreen on any part of your body that will be exposed to the sun during the day.
Know your sun protection products and how much to use.
Always use a sunscreen that's broad-spectrum, designed to protect against UV-A and UV-B rays, has an SPF 30 or higher, and is water resistant. And be sure to use plenty of sunscreen! Not doing so is probably the most common mistake people make when it comes to sunscreen. The average person should use a full shot glass of sunscreen, Dr. Rico notes.
Apply, then remember to reapply.
You should apply your first layer of sunscreen about 30 minutes before you head outside and then reapply every two hours, says Dr. Rico. Even if you aren't going in the water, you can sweat enough to compromise your sunscreen protection, so always remember to reapply.
Wear sun protection clothing in addition to sunscreen
Whether you're at the pool or the beach, or just outside at a summer barbecue, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreen is a must, but protective clothing is also a good idea because that protection is constant, Dr. Rico advises.
Embrace the shade.
If you can, invest in a shade structure that you can take to the beach or park so you and the kids can get a break from the sun, says Dr. Rico. And avoid being in the sun during the peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm when the sun is the strongest.
Teach your children about sun protection and make it part of their routine.
My children are ages 3 years and 6 months and we have a complete sun protection program for them. They wear sunscreen and sun shirts whenever we're in the sun, Dr. Rico says. My 3 year old knows to grab his rash guard whenever we're going to the pool. That's because we've made it part of our outside routine from the beginning, so he doesn't even think to question it.