It's that time of year to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. With longer days and more sunlight hours, don’t forget to prioritize your skin health! Here are some summer skin care tips for protecting your skin this season.

Drink plenty of water

It may not be intuitive, but hydrating is just as important in the summer as it is in winter. The heat of summer causes lots of fluid loss, especially through sweating. Make sure you’re drinking lots of fluids like water and getting plenty of hydrating foods, such as watermelon–it will hydrate your body and help you avoid dry skin, too. 

Pro tip: For a quick refresher, try using a sterilized can of water spray.

Protect your skin with SPF

Protecting your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage caused by the sun is vital, especially in spring and summer. Even on a chilly spring day, the UV index in April and May can be the same as August and September. Don’t let the chilly temperatures trick you into forgetting your sunscreen! Always use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or above. Use one ounce of sunscreen to cover exposed areas of the body in order to get the SPF protection advertised on the bottle. Take note—it's not recommended to use spray sunscreen for children. In 2015, the World Health Organization issued a warning about the inhalation risks from using spray sunscreens on children.

Pro tip:  Make sure you use enough sunscreen! For example, the one ounce needed for the body is size of a shot glass! Also, drawing lines of sunscreen on your index, middle, and ring finger should be enough to cover your face, neck, and ears.

Apply sunscreen, and re-apply frequently

Even when you’re using SPF 30 or more regularly, remember to re-apply! Sunscreen starts breaking down the second it leaves the bottle, and it’s important to re-apply every two hours. This means reapplying over makeup if you're wearing any, too! Try a powdered or stick formulation, or just gently tap sunscreen to your face to help protect your skin and keep your makeup in place. On days you'll be in the sun for a long time, especially if you're on the water with the sun's rays reflecting up, try using sun-protective clothing over your SPF.

Pro tip: Try sun-protective clothing items. You’d be surprised at how lightweight they are! 

Repair your skin if you incur sun damage

If you do get burned, remember to soothe your skin. Aloe is helpful, but continued protection from sun exposure is a must, even after nourishing your skin.

Pro tip: Know the difference between a sunburn and sun poisoning, and when to seek medical attention for a case of sun poisoning or dehydration.

When to see a dermatologist

Ideally you'd be seeing a dermatologist once a year for a skin check--this is the best way to catch any concerns early and easily talk with a provider about any skin concerns. If you haven't established routine skin checks, or have but notice a new spot on your skin, remember A-B-C-D-E: If you find a lesion that is Asymmetric, has irregular Borders, multiple Colors, Diameter greater than six millimeters, or is Evolving (new/changing lesions), you should always see a dermatologist. These are the ABCDEs of melanoma, and anything that fits into these categories warrants being examined more closely. Additionally, if you have any non-healing spots or “pimples”, it is important to get these checked out.

Dermatology at Lifespan

Lifespan Dermatology provide a full range of general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services to address all types of skin conditions. For more information on Dermatology at Lifespan, visit our website.