Practice Safe Sun: Summer Skincare Tips

With some gorgeous weather officially jump starting us into summer, I’d like to introduce summer skincare tips. I’ve talked about the ingredients in SPF and how to apply it in the past, so I’d like to extend my safe-sun advice to the rest of the gadgets on your beach blanket. Remember, it does not have to be sunny outside in order for you to get a skin burn–ultraviolet rays are nearly always present in the sky, even on the cloudiest of days

Be generous with your broad spectrum SPF cream (15-50 only) all over your body. Be sure to target those easy to miss areas such as your lips (skin here is quite sensitive and very prone to direct sunlight), hands/in between your fingers and your feet into your toes. Be sure to re-moisturize every 3-4 hours and after every swim.

Get Shady
Besides retreating to your umbrella or a nearby tree to cool off every hour or so, sunglasses provide excellent protection around your eye area. UVB radiations have been known to cause cataracts and ultraviolet radiation is generally a direct cause of sun cancer. The skin around our eyes is already sensitive, so without extra and prolonged protection, sun exposure weakens skin’s elasticity and causes wrinkles, burns and aging. 

Repel Those Insects
I recommend using insect repellant and sunscreen instead of popular combination products, since sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours. Make sure your repellant contains DEET for optimal infection control against ticks (Lyme Disease) and mosquitoes (West Nile, Chikungunya Virus and Zika Virus). The CDC recommends no DEET for children younger than two years old and insect repellants with 10%-30% of DEET for children older than two years old. Adults can generally tolerate up to 50%. Remember to shower at the end of a summer day to clean off any residue that may remain on your skin.

As we’ve discussed before in many posts, make sure you get your 7-8 glasses of water a day. Dehydration can lead to symptoms of heat exhaustion and can easily be prevented by drinking enough water!

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.