Summer Skin Care Tips

By Buffalo Medical Group | June 13 2017 | Doctor Tips

Summer is finally here. And while most of us look forward to the warm weather and sun (which can be a rarity in Western New York!), it’s important to remember what it means for our skin. With the summer sun, it’s all about prevention and protection.

Use Sunscreen-Always

Coming out of winter, most of us have dry skin with little to no color. According to Buffalo Medical Group dermatologist Dr. Jenna O’Neill, the most important thing women can do for their skin during summer is to use a sunscreen on exposed skin every day. The two most important things about that are “exposed” skin and every day. Many of us remember to lather on the sunscreen when we’re headed to the pool or beach, but don’t often think to use it on our exposed ears and neck when we’re out for a walk on an overcast day or our arms and hands while we’re in the car and the sun’s rays are reflecting through the windshield.

Protect Your Skin Without Added Work

Using a proper sunscreen every day is essential for preventing photoaging and protecting against skin cancer. Dr. O’Neill recommends using a facial moisturizer that contains SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or higher. It’s the easiest way to ensure you’re protected, without adding any extra steps to your morning routine. There are a variety of moisturizers available at grocery stores, drug stores, cosmetics stores or the beauty counter in many department stores. Several are designed specifically to work well under your existing cosmetics without clogging your pores. Once you’ve found one you like, make sure you apply it to your face, neck, chest and back of hands daily, even on rainy or cloudy days. This is your best defense against skin aging, and there is even some evidence that daily sunscreen use may even reverse the signs of photodamage. That’s like a fountain of youth in a bottle!

Plan Accordingly

While wearing sunscreen every day is key, this base level of sun protection isn’t sufficient for days when you will be directly exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, such as at the beach or when doing outdoor activities. Be sure to use a higher SPF sunscreen for those occasions, and reapply it every 2 to 3 hours—especially when swimming—to maintain an adequate level of protection. And don’t forget your lips! Many chap sticks now contain SPF, as well. Swap your regular chap stick with an SPF stick for the summer months, so you won’t have to think twice about protecting your pout. You should also discuss your skin care concerns with your dermatologist, who may have other suggestions to protect your skin and keep you looking your best.