As a dermatologist, I highly recommend wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 each and every day of the year; but during summer, sun protection is even more imperative as the sun’s rays are stronger and we tend to spend more time outdoors. In my opinion, sunscreen is the best anti-aging product available (especially in conjunction with a retinol or retinoid product at night). Here are a few must-know tips that will help you maximize your sun protection, and prevent the skin damage that leads to visible signs of aging and skin cancer.
1. Even an SPF of just 5 applied daily reduces your lifetime sun exposure by 50 percent by the time you’re 70. Imagine if you use SPF 15 or 30…
2. Make sunscreen part of your morning skincare regimen each day. At the very least, choose a moisturizer with SPF, but layering a true sunscreen over your other products is even better.
3. For extra protection against sun-induced free radical damage, apply a vitamin C serum after cleansing.
4. You need a teaspoon of sunscreen to adequately protect your face. Measure it out and you’ll be surprised at how much that actually is.
5. Don’t rely on the SPF in your powder or foundation. Cosmetics rarely provide the sun protection they say they do.
6. In lieu of makeup with SPF, try a tinted SPF. SkinCeuticals makes a few versions for various skin types.
7. A white tee shirt only provides an SPF of about 5. Invest in sun-protective clothing, especially if you golf, tennis, or spend a lot of time outside not in a bathing suit.
8. Keep a hat in your car. If you always have one with you, you’re more likely to use it.
9. Don’t forget the sunglasses. The bigger the frames, the more protection you get for the delicate skin around the eyes. This is a great defense against crow’s feet.
10. Make sure your SPF says “broad spectrum” on the bottle or tube. The SPF number only indicates your protection against burning UVB rays. Broad spectrum means your skin is shielded from aging and cancer-causing UVA rays.
Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.