Riding the waves, collecting seashells, catching some rays—everyone loves a summertime beach trip! That is, until that painful sunburn sets in from too many hours baking in the sun. According to Cancer Research UK, getting a sunburn just once every two years triples the odds of developing melanoma, and overexposure to the sun changes the skin’s texture, losing elasticity and leading to visible signs of aging. Thankfully, a beach vacation doesn’t have to mean painful sunburns and increased risks of skin cancer when these sun protection tips are followed.
SPF: Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (which protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 or higher, reapplied every two hours and after swimming. While some brands charge big bucks for sunscreens with higher SPF ratings, there’s no evidence that SPF ratings higher than 50 offer significantly more protection from the sun.
The Three-year Rule
While sunscreen should be worn every single day, many people still don’t buy it regularly and stick with one bottle for years. But sunscreen loses effectiveness after three years, so using an old bottle can be ineffective against the sun’s rays. It’s important to check the bottle’s expiration date, or if one isn’t listed, it’s better to be safe and buy a new one. It’s good to write down the date it was purchased on the bottle for future reference.
Dress for the Occasion
While it would seem a bathing suit is the only attire needed for the beach, extra clothing helps protect against the sun’s rays. In fact, clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. Rash guards are great for those who plan to ride the waves or play in the pool, and light-colored clothing made from polyester or Lycra offers more protection than cotton or linen.
Even when the rest of the body is covered, the scalp should never be forgotten! A broad-brimmed hat protects the head and face, neck, and ears, and spray-on sunscreens designed specifically for the scalp are available for those who don’t want to wear a hat. Sunglasses are also necessary on a hot beach day; not only do they make it easier to see in the bright sun, but they also filter out the sun’s UV rays to protect against cataracts and eye damage. Many cheap sunglasses don’t offer the best sun protection, so it’s important to get a pair that offers 100 percent UV protection.
If you catch a bad sunburn on your trip, About Face Medical Aesthetics, PLLC can help rejuvenate your skin when you return to town. We’ll create a customized skin renewal plan based on your lifestyle and environmental factors, like sun exposure, to keep your skin looking youthful and hydrated. Call us at 603-580-5296 or request a consultation with our team of licensed medical professionals.
If you have any further questions about additional information regarding our skin services and the expert level of care that we can provide for you, then please refer to our services on our website.