Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
The Houston sun in July and August is not to be messed with! As anyone who has spent even just a few summer days in Southeast Texas knows, the rays here can do some damage if they catch you off-guard.
A timely infographic from Northwestern Medicine sheds some light on SPF and sun protection. Let’s take a closer look at what we can do to protect ourselves and our skin this summer as we exercise, compete, and enjoy the outdoors.
8 Tips for Protecting Your Skin This Summer
- Clothing can allow in ultraviolet (UV) rays, so apply sunscreen before dressing.
- Broad spectrum (or “full spectrum”) sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This is important, as UVA and UVB rays are two different types of UV light that can damage your skin. UVA can cause premature aging of the skin, age spots and wrinkling. UVB rays, on the other hand, can cause skin cancer. When you read an SPF rating on a skincare product, you’re reading about that product’s protection against UVB rays. UVA protection is not rated.
- Despite what the bottle may say, no sunscreen is truly waterproof, which is why it’s important to reapply every two hours.
- The SPF in makeup is not enough to provide the coverage you need. Always apply an additional layer of sunscreen before applying makeup.
- If you’re prone to skin breakouts when using sunscreen, look for “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic” products.
- Yes, sunlight provides a natural source of vitamin D. But, there are negative consequences (such as premature skin aging and skin cancer). Remember, you can get Vitamin D from other sources, too, like eggs, salmon, and many fortified foods (dairy products, soy milk, orange juice, etc.).
- Lips can get burned, too! When going out in the Houston sun, incorporate a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher into your routine.
- Headed out on a long drive? Don’t count on your windows for much sun protection. Cars are equivalent to being outside; apply sunscreen for those long drives.
Stay Safe Outdoors. See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor.
For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.