With summer in full swing, you may find yourself spending extra time outside. And with all of that fun in the sun, it might be easy to forget about protecting your skin from damaging sun rays. Sun awareness is important because many people don’t realize they are at risk of getting skin cancer despite the measures they take to stay safe.
I’m a licensed esthetician, and I want to help you better understand the dangers of ultraviolet radiation. Here are a few common myths I often hear from patients, along with the proper tools to help keep your skin safe year-round.
“My car windows are tinted.”
Wonderful! That is a great first step to minimize exposure to UV rays while driving. But factory windows will do little to nothing. You can install extra UV blocking window film in your vehicle to receive more protection. Some manufacturers will claim a 99% block, but this isn’t regulated.
“I am never outside.”
This may feel like the truth, but it’s not. We all go to the grocery store and the gym, check the mailbox, drive in our cars, have windows in our homes, and so on. Even when we think we are not getting sun exposure, we are.
“My drugstore SPF is higher-rated than my prescription SPF.”
Medical-grade sunscreen is FDA regulated. This prevents companies from cutting corners when producing these products because they are required to go through clinical trials. If your medical grade SPF is 30, it will most likely give you better protection than a drugstore sunscreen of SPF 50 that could have been made more than a year ago.
The FDA regulates medical-grade skincare brands such as Revision, Elta, Obagi, SkinMedica, AYA Skincare, and more. The FDA only regulates the verbiage for over-the-counter skincare on the amount of time in the sun it would take to “burn.” No matter the SPF number, many people don’t burn but are still susceptible to skin cancer and aging.
“My hat is blocking the sun.”
Hats are a great addition, but they are not complete protection from the sun. You’ll still be vulnerable to the damaging effects of UV rays, and therefore need to apply sunscreen. Baseball caps only shade your forehead; a large, rimmed sun hat will shade your face and neck.
What more can you do to keep your skin healthy and prevent skin cancer?
Wear medical-grade SPF daily, and re-apply it throughout the day. Visit your dermatologist for yearly skin screenings.
If you ever notice a strange spot or freckle, immediately make an appointment to have it checked out.
There are plenty of medical-grade SPF products that will help protect your skin from the sun on a daily basis. Consider Elta UV Daily, Elta UV Clear, or Revision Intellishade for daily sunscreen for your face. For your body, I suggest the Elta UV lotion. For waterproof sunscreen for the face, I recommend Elta UV Elements, Elta UV Sheer, Elta UV Physical, and Elta UV Lip Balm.
AYA Medical Spa is dedicated to educating its patients and the community on the dangers of the sun and the importance of protecting your skin. From now through the end of August, AYA is offering readers a discount on medical-grade sunscreens, both in the spa and online. To shop online, visit www.shopayaskincare.com and enter code FYI50 for 20 percent off. For more information, visit www.ayaskincare.com or call (469) 202-4478.