Protecting your skin from the sun’s rays and not just during the summer months

Protecting your skin from the sun’s rays and not just during the summer months

(WECT) - With summer just ahead of us, it’s easy to let our skin care routine slip. But that shouldn’t be the case.

Our skin is so vulnerable to the sun’s rays so it’s very important to take care of it.

Meredith Spell, the Injury and Violence Prevention Coordinator for New Hanover Regional Medical Center Trauma Services says we should wear sunscreen every single day, but especially in the summer.

“You want to wear sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF,” says Spell. “Something that’s water and sweat resistant is going be your best bet.”

Spell says it’s important to make sure the sunscreen blocks both Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays.

UVA penetrates deep into the skin and causes long-term skin damage, aging, and wrinkles. UVB causes sunburn and turns you red.

“UVB rays are the ones that you’re probably going to get sunburned from, but you want it to block both of them,” says Spell.

Spell says every time you get a sunburn, it puts you at more risk for getting cancer.

“Research has shown that if you just have five sunburns in your life, it automatically increases your risk of getting melanoma or a different kind of skin cancer,” says Spell.

You should reapply sunscreen every 60-80 minutes and allow it time to soak into your skin before getting into the water.

Along with sunscreen, you’re encouraged to wear long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses.

“Anytime you’re out in the sun or even if you’re outdoors and it’s cloudy, you still want to wear sunblock because sun is still going to penetrate through and damage your skin,” says Spell. "Any amount of skin exposure, especially between noon and four o’clock, is really your peak time to get damage from the sun.”

For women, it’s important to wear sunscreen under your makeup, even if you’re foundation has SPF in it. Layering on sunscreen and makeup with SPF does not make you more protected. For example, wearing 15 SPF sunscreen and putting foundation with 15 SPF, doesn’t mean you’re wearing 30 SPF.

Be sure to always check labels. Sunscreen expires and is practically useless after it’s expiration date.

For more information about skin safety, click here.

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