The summer sun is strong — that much is common knowledge. As the sweltering heat of the season continues, it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Whether you’re already slathering sunscreen on daily or could stand to be a bit more diligent with your routine, here’s what you need to know about how the sun damages skin and the best way to prevent it just in time for Summer Sun Safety Month.
There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB.
These rays are longer and are what cause the skin to tan. Still, they’re not all sun-kissed and bronzed goodness — UVA rays also age skin cells and are linked to damage like premature fine lines and wrinkles. One of the scariest things about UVA rays is that you may not feel any pain or discomfort from the damage, but your skin is still at risk.
These rays, on the other hand, are shorter and have slightly more energy. You’ve likely experienced harm from UVB rays before. These rays cause and are associated with sunburn.
While it’s great to know the difference between the rays, note that both are linked to wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots, and congested skin. Past just an aesthetic lens, these harmful rays are also linked to skin cancer.
A helpful method to avoid these harmful rays is to pay attention to the UV index. The UV index gives the daily expected risk of overexposure to the sun using a scale of 1 to 11+, where 1 suggests minimal risk, and 11+, very high.
Aside from avoiding the sun during high index days and hours, and utilizing hats and shade wherever possible, finding an effective sunscreen that works for you is imperative.
SPF sunscreen works by measuring how much UV radiation it would take to sunburn the protected skin relative to the amount of UV radiation required to sunburn unprotected skin.
As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases, making it necessary to always wear an SPF above 30. One of our favorite brands for protection is EltaMD. Here are the standouts from the collection:
Oil-free EltaMD UV Clear
With an SPF of 46, and a formula created to calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to discoloration and breakouts associated with acne and rosacea, this is a great lightweight choice for everyday use.
The formula also comes in tinted versions for a bit of color without the caked-on feeling of a heavy foundation. Made with vitamin B, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid, the ingredients promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin.
EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum
One of our favorite options for daily sunscreen, this SPF 40 formula offers serious UV protection and superior hydration. Created with hyaluronic acid to boost moisture retention and diminish fine lines, this lightweight moisturizer with UV protection is a great choice for anyone struggling to incorporate SPF into their routine. It accommodates most skin types and is safe for use post-procedure as well, making it our top choice.
Additionally, like the Clear, it comes in a variety of tints for a pop of color without feeling too heavy.
Set your skin up for success and purchase a daily SPF today: (208) 888-0660.