Fall fashion might be flooding the magazines and storefronts, but we are VERY much still in the swing of summer. The heat, humidity and UV index are still at their peak during August and well into September in the United States. We have been conditioned to plan well for our summer outdoor excursions; keeping hydrated, wearing a hat and slathering ourselves in sunscreen. And yet, each year in the US, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer.1
This could be, due in part, to the misinformation floating around about sunscreen, the proper usage and application methods that are crucial to keeping your skin protected and shielded from the damaging rays from above. To dispel some urban legends about proper skincare, I went on a pilgrimage to retrieve some solid answers to some very simple questions about sun protection and was shocked what I discovered. Dr. Joshua Zeichner (board-certified dermatologist in Manhattan) offered some extraordinarily valuable information on how to protect you and your loved ones from damaging UV rays, both in these critical summer months when UV levels are the highest, as well as year-round.
Check out and share this informative video from Dr. Joshua Zeichner and his top tips to stay sun safe…
From the video – some key (accurate) tips from Dr. Joshua Zeichner:
- Sunscreen safety: With so much misinformation about the dangers of sunscreen, how are consumers supposed to make the proper choices for protecting their skin? Dr. Zeichner suggests going straight to the source and consulting with your family dermatologist. If you can’t make it there, he states that the risks associated with not using sunscreen and getting burned far outweigh any other concerns. Point being – use sunscreen – no matter what!
- Choosing the right sunscreen: Like any labels that have words we cannot understand or pronounce, sunscreen labels can also be a challenge. Always look for your trusted brands when shopping at your local drugstore. Key words to look for include: broad spectrum and ingredients such as avobenzone or oxybenzone. If you have more delicate skin – opt for mineral sunscreen that only contains ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
- Suncreen ingredients are safe: There has been quite a bit of hype this season about possible ‘dangerous’ ingredients being placed in suncreens – most specifically oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Dr. Zeichner notes that oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate have safely been used in sunscreens for decades and there is no proven data associated with any harmful effects. Again, stressing that the risk of damaging your skin from unprotected, over exposed skin is far worse than any other perceived risks.
- Due diligence: Application is essential, says Dr. Zeichner. Using any sunscreen can only benefit you if you use it correctly. When applying a spray sunscreen, it is recommended you hold the spray 1-2 inches from the skin, spray for 1-2 seconds until the skin glistens, and then rub it into the skin. If using a lotion, make sure to apply a golf ball size amount for all sun-exposed areas. After hearing this tip – I realized that I have been applying incorrectly my entire life.
- Repetez s’il vous plait (please repeat): Sunscreen needs to become a part of your daily routine – like brushing your teeth or hair! Even when the frigid air is upon us, it is essential you still protect your skin (and often!). When in the sun for extended periods of time – be it the beach or the winter slopes – the key is to remember to reapply throughout the day (especially if you are in the water or sweating). If you are still using the same bottle of sunscreen you bought at the start of the season when Labor Day rolls around, you are definitely not using enough and need to step up your skin protection game.
Happy (safe) sunning!
Cheers to beautiful you,
(1)Guy GP, Machlin SR, Ekwueme DU, Yabroff KR. Prevalence and costs of skin cancer treatment in the U.S., 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. Am J Prev Med 2014;104(4):e69-e74. DOI: