Yes, You Need Sunscreen :: 8 Tips for Protecting Your Skin

For years, people of color where (and still are) under the impression that having melanin is the ultimate protector against the sun and uv rays. But alas, that myth gets to be dispelled. With climate changes, a reduced ozone layer, and air pollution, wearing sunscreen is of utmost important for all people. I personally believe it is particularly important if you live in an urban environment where there is denser pollution. Check back next week for some of my favorite natural sunscreen suggestions.

“If I had to offer one “cure all” tip for skin care that spans across every age, it would be “WEAR SUNSCREEN”,” says Eden Di Bianco, Natural Skincare Expert. “Melanoma has been on the rise across all age groups; according the American Cancer Society, about 76,690 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2013. Sun exposure also causes premature aging, fine lines, loss of elasticity & moisture, and the dreaded brown spots that indicate cumulative free radical damage. Why invest in expensive products further down the line to handle skin problems you can avoid now by slathering on one simple product regularly?”

“The easiest way to prevent skin cancer is to protect your skin with clothing,” said board-certified dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD, FAAD, consulting professor at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. “Keep a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses near your door so you can put them on before you go outside. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants also can help protect from the damaging rays of the sun.”

But alas, summer is hot and wearing long-sleeved anything when temperatures are above 90 degrees is not the most attractive option. So here are some other tips to protect your skin.

Apply sunscreen every day

When you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen to all skin that will not be covered by clothing. Reapply approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and that has an SPF of at least 30.

Use one ounce of sunscreen

That amount is about equal to the size of your palm. Thoroughly rub the product into the skin. Don’t forget the top of your feet, your neck, ears, and the top of your head. In some instances, you should use half that amount for concentrated sunscreens.

Seek shade

Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.

Use extra caution near water, sand or snow

As they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.

Get vitamin D safely

Eat a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, or take vitamin D supplements.

If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product

But continue to use sunscreen with it. Don’t use tanning beds. Just like the sun, UV light from tanning beds can cause wrinkling and age spots and can lead to skin cancer.

Check your skin for signs of skin cancer

Your birthday is a great time to check your birthday suit. Checking your skin and knowing your moles are key to detecting skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages.

Stay Hydrated

If your in the sun for long periods of time, it is very easy to get dehydrated and further dry your skin. Keep your skin supple by staying hydrated with filtered water and even coconut water for magnesium and potassium.

You can also visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s for more about skin cancer prevention and detection from learning how to perform a skin self-exam to finding free skin cancer screenings in your area.



YGL staff