With summer in full force here in New York City, it’s natural to want to show a little skin and boost your vitamin D levels by getting out in the sun. But too much sun exposure can damage your skin, leaving behind the signs of summer in the form of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
That’s because during the long days of summer, when the sun’s rays are the most intense, exposed skin is more susceptible to the effects of photoaging, or the premature aging of skin cells caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.
In fact, as much as 90% of the visible signs of aging on your skin are a result of sun or UV exposure.
Our team of dermatologists, surgeons, and care providers at Manhattan Dermatology want to help you protect your skin from the fine lines, dark spots, and changes in skin tone and texture due to sun exposure.
To that end, we offer a comprehensive line of skin care services to help you look and feel your best.
You don’t have to lock yourself inside all day to protect your skin this summer. Here’s how you can keep your skin healthy during the summer months and all year long.
How can I protect my skin this summer?
There are many factors that go into keeping skin healthy. You can read our top five tips for summer skin health here. But when it comes to protecting your skin, there are two things that trump all else: applying sunscreen regularly and paying attention to the time of day.
Applying sunscreen is essential
There are two types of ultraviolet radiation from the sun that reach the Earth’s surface: ultraviolet A (UVA), or long-wave rays, and ultraviolet B (UVB), or short-wave rays. It’s important to protect yourself with a sunscreen that blocks or absorbs both UVA and UVB rays.
Both UVA and UVB rays can cause premature skin aging, eye damage, and an increased risk for skin cancers. UVB rays are typically responsible for sunburns, while UVA rays penetrate your skin and cause the wrinkles, sagging skin, and the leathery appearance associated with outdoor enthusiasts.
Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays each time you go outside this summer. Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher every time you go outdoors.
Pay attention to the clock to stay protected
Part of the appeal of summer is having fun in the sun. But the sun’s rays are at their most intense between 10am and 4pm. By paying attention to the clock while you’re out in the park or playing on the beach, you’re better be able to protect your skin this summer.
You don’t have to run inside when the clock strikes 10am, but you should take steps to avoid sunburn and sun damage. If your shadow is shorter than you are, it’s a good idea to take precautions.
How to protect your skin
Here are some ways to protect your skin during peak sun hours:
- Seek shade like umbrellas, trees, or other sunshades
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the delicate skin of your face out of the sun
- Choose sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to stop sun damage around your eyes
- Cover up with loose, light-colored clothing
- Schedule extended outdoor activities outside of peak hours
You can still have a great time outside in the summer sun as long as you make sunscreen part of your skin care routine and pay attention to the peak sun hours. Your skin will thank you for taking precautions this summer to prevent premature aging and skin cancer.
To find out more about protecting your skin this summer, call us or book online for in-person and telemedicine appointments. Our offices are located in Manhattan’s Murray Hill and Midtown East neighborhoods.