After this uncharacteristically rainy season in San Diego, it’s hard to believe that summer is right around the corner. But as those first few 75-degree days start to pop up on the forecast, we’re all probably ready to emerge from our winter cocoons and start basking in the sunshine again.
However, while the sun is a source of life and vitality (and zoo days, and backyard barbecues), its rays can also be extremely harmful to our skin — causing a variety of skin problems, including premature aging, sunburn, and even skin cancer.
So, before you pull those beach towels out of storage, this is a great time to refresh your memory on the best ways to protect skin from the sun.
Step 1: Reduce the amount of sun on your skin to begin with.
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth stating: One of the most natural ways to protect skin from the sun is to stay out of it altogether.
Step 2: Wear sunscreen!
This should really be considered a "Step 1.1,” since how to protect skin from sun damage begins with wearing sunscreen daily — yes, even on cloudy days, and yes, even if you’re spending most of your time indoors. UV rays can be sneaky, penetrating clouds and windows to cause damage to the skin. So, sunscreen should be a permanent part of your skincare routine throughout the year to protect your skin from the sun.
Choosing the right sunscreen
Sunscreen itself is nonnegotiable, of course, but you have a couple of options to choose from when selecting a product. The key difference lies in how they block UV radiation:
Of course, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen — so the best option to protect your skin from the sun is whichever one you like wearing best and will wear most consistently. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Applying sunscreen correctly
Even those who do wear sunscreen often skip some of the important instructions about how to protect skin from sun damage and make it most effective. With that in mind, be sure to follow these tips for proper application:
Step 3: Focus on facial sun protection
Because the skin cells on your face are smaller than on the rest of your body, the skin there is also more delicate — making sun protection for the face particularly important. If you’re familiar with the Simply Skin blog, this probably won’t come as a surprise to you — since sun protection and anti-aging go hand-in-hand. If this is your first time here, maybe you don’t mind fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging in the mirror… but if you’re anti-dark-spot, facial sun protection needs to be your # 1 priority.
The tips for how to protect your face from the sun are similar to the rest of your body:
Take care of your skin, come rain or shime.
Protecting your skin from the sun is essential for maintaining a healthy, glowing complexion — and by following these tips, you can reduce your risk of skin damage and premature aging. But at the end of the day, the best way to maintain proper skincare all year round is by working with a licensed esthetician. I can help you customize a skincare regimen for your unique needs, so you can quit worrying about the mirror and get back to having fun in the sun.