Happy Memorial Day! If youre going to be cooking out or opening your pool or even just lounging on your front porch this holiday, dont forget to take proper care of your skin! Sun exposure is the leading cause of the visible signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, and sagging. Using sunscreen is just the first step in protecting yourself, especially if youll be outside having fun all day. Here are a few more things you can do:
Wear at least an SPF 30, and apply it before you put your clothes on. If you wait until youre already dressed, you might miss a few spots. Sun radiation can also penetrate through clothes, so you do need protection even if youre fully dressed.
Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside. It takes that long for sunscreen to fully absorb and activate, and you dont want to be unprotected for almost a full half hour.
Check the expiration date on your bottle of sunscreen! If its from last year, chances are its bad. Toss it out and get a bottle of fresh sunscreen.
Dont forget your hairline! Wear a sun hat, or apply a misting sunscreen to any part of your head that is exposed, including your part. It can be very painful to have just a sunburn on the top of your head!
Re-apply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating profusely. Even waterproof sunscreen will lose potency and effectiveness after a few hours, so reapplication will ensure youre fully protected the whole time you are outside.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent squinting, which can cause fine lines. Sunglasses with UV protection are especially useful.
Dont lie out in the sun! Tanning on purpose will break down the collagen and elastin in your skin. You will look tanner temporarily, but eventually that will catch up with you, resulting in sagging skin with a leathery texture. If you must darken your skin, use artificial tanners.
If you have any questions about skin care in Northern Virginia or would like to purchase medical-grade sunscreen, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588.