Dermatologist Advice on Protecting Your Skin
Recommendations on Sunscreen
If we have to take care of our skin throughout the year, imagine what we must do during the hot and sunny months! It is recommended that we use sunscreen throughout the year but especially in the summer. There are fluids, textures, with color, without color, compacts, gels – a whole world of sunscreens designed to suit our needs. Despite that, whats most important is the protection factor. This should be 50 or 50+ and generously applied.
When using sunscreen we should aim to apply as often as possible throughout the day, the more often the better. It is also worth remembering not to neglect other areas of the body. The cleavage, arms and other exposed areas are just as important as the face.
If you live in the city, applying sunscreen is necessary on a daily basis. The best approach is to apply in the morning, mid-morning and first thing in the afternoon. It all depends on our daily routine of course, the more hours we’re exposed to the sun, the more careful we must be.
Every year new sunscreen products are released. Some are now sports specific, others more resistant to sweat. Fortunately there are now less greasy sunscreen products along with invisible and easy to apply lotions, sprays and creams.
How To Protect Children From The Sun
For children, it is recommended that you use products created especially for them. There are products that physically filter and reflect the sun such as titanium dioxide. Although less cosmetically appealing, this sunscreen is much better at protecting from the sun’s rays without using harmful chemicals. No matter what, children under 6 months should avoid direct sun exposure entirely.
Skin Advice For Summer
In the summer, the key, outside of sunscreen protection is to keep the skin clean, bright and not shiny. When we are trying to escape dry skin due to sun exposure, bathing in the pool, visiting the beach, there is one thing that becomes our greatest ally: Hygiene.
Cleansing foams, cleansing lotions, emulsions, de-greasers and micellar waters are very important. The beginning of the re-education process starts with preparing the skin morning and night. This is the key to daily care.
An antioxidant formula should be the second product you apply every morning. Oxidative stress is one of the main causes of skin ageing. Our skin does have its own defense mechanism against these oxidants, however, over time our defenses become saturated. This can leave the skin exposed to harmful free radicals.
Also, do not neglect certain areas of the face. It is always worth remembering to use an eye contour as well as applying lotion to the dynamic wrinkles between the eyebrows, the forehead and even around the lips where the skin naturally folds in.
At night, hygiene is essential. This is when you should be spending time on washing your face and using these regenerating products. It is of course worth remembering that your routine will depend on your skin type, your age, sun exposure and sensitivity amongst other factors.
Vitamin D and The Sun
As for the dilemma of Vitamin D and the sun. It’s worth knowing that we only really require 15 minutes a day of sun in order to reach adequate synthesis. Alternatively, 30 minutes of exposure 3 times a week will suffice. It is also not necessary to exposure more sensitive areas such as the face, neckline or back of hands where precancerous lesions and skin tumours are more prone to appear.
Further to this, diet also plays an important part. Vitamin D is only present in a limited number of foods. Foods such as; oily fish, milk, eggs, liver and some mushrooms are a good way to ingest Vitamin D. Cod liver oil is also a concentrated source of the vitamin.
Unfiltered dairy, cheese, egg yolks are also great sources of vitamin D. If you do not eat any of these foods and you’re not getting enough sun, you could find yourself lacking in the vitamin D department. If this is the case, we suggest adding a vitamin D3 supplement to your daily routine.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Firstly, alcohol in your perfumes, cologne and shower gels is not good for healthy skin. These products can cause spots on the skin and so should be replaced. You can easily find many shower gels, washes or fragrances that smell nice but do not contain alcohol. Try to only apply your perfumes and colognes when you need to, using them sparingly will help your skin.
In addition, both alcohol and tobacco contain harmful substances that can damage the skin. Avoiding the consumption of both of these is the best route to healthy and beautiful skin.
This is because alcohol and tobacco accelerate the natural breakdown of collagen in the dermis. This usually occurs with age, but consuming alcohol and tobacco advances the appearance of wrinkles.
Protecting Our Skin In Summer – Summary
Not only should we apply these tips in summer, but they will also be positive for your skin throughout the year.
- Correct Hydration and adequate fluid and vitamin intake
- Clean and exfoliate the skin
- Routinely apply nutritional, hydrating creams and sunscreen
- Avoid sun exposure during the strongest times of the day (between 12pm and 4pm)
- Avoid consuming alcohol and tobacco
We hope these tips give you a helping hand. Don’t forget, our dermatologists can check any skin concern within hours. Send in your case and we’ll do the rest!
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Dr. Raquel Molina Martinez is a board-certified dermatologist from Barcelona with over a decade of experience. Trained at Gothenburg’s University Hospital, she now practices at Centre Medic in Catalonia.