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Tips for |protecting your skin |this summer

Apr 11. 2018
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Special to The Nation

SUMMER is upon us and one of the biggest complaints we have is the searing heat. Besides feeling sweaty most of the time, being near the equator also means having higher exposure to UV rays.

And over time, failing to protect our skin from UV rays is bad news for the complexion.

Most people already know that UVA rays cause wrinkles and hyperpigmentation in the form of freckles and melasma, while UVB rays cause sunburn. 

It’s important therefore to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Other than staying out of the sun, sunscreen keeps the skin safe from damaging sunlight. 

Here are few tips for keeping your skin healthy all summer and beyond.

Firstly, choose a sunscreen with the words “broad–spectrum” on the label which indicates that it will be effective against both UVA and UVB rays. Or choose a sunscreen with a sun protector factor (SPF) of 15 to higher than 30, which is a measure of sunscreen’s ability to block UVB. It should also have a “protection grade” (PA), which is a Japanese measurement of sun protection against UVA, from PA+ to PA+++. Always remember you need a different SPF and a different PA for different activities. 

If you plan to stay indoors, I recommend using an SPF of 15 while for all extended outdoor activities, you should go for an SPF of 30 or higher.

Secondly, wear sunscreen the right way. Most people don’t use nearly enough sunscreen, which means they are not adequately protected from UV rays. The “fingertip unit” is the recommended amount of sunscreen to cover your face and neck. 

And the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests applying sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before going outside, because it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.

THANISORN THAMLIKITKUL MD is a member of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and certified in dermatological laser surgery. |Send your questions for her to [email protected]

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