Skin Advice During Summer

Written by Suzanne Leigh

Did you know that sun block doesn't work right away? We'll show you new ways to protect your largest organ. What if a product promised that you could reach the age of 60 without a single wrinkle to betray the passage of time?

Start right now and you could freeze further aging, say dermatologists. The product is nothing more than the right choice of sunblock at your corner drugstore.

Use sunblock every day - rain or shine.
Check the label for ingredients that protect your skin from the sun's aging effects.
Re-apply throughout the day, especially if you've been perspiring.
Don't assume that sunblock provides instant protection. Wait indoors or cover up for 30 minutes until the active agents kick in.
As much as 98 percent of wrinkles are caused by sun exposure, according to the experts. But sun exposure is actually a misnomer. Don't be deceived by overcast or rainy weather. It can cause up to 80 percent of the damage of sunshine.

Suppose you work in an office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and your only exposure to the elements is a 25-yard saunter to Starbucks? Yes, even brief bursts of daylight can take their toll on your skin.

What's more, wrinkles don't happen overnight. According to dermatologists, it can take up to 20 years for a vacation suntan to carve out its souvenir on your skin.

Choosing an Effective Sunblock

Opt for a sunblock rather than a sunscreen. Although some sunscreens provide adequate protection against cancer and sunburn, they may fail to act as a barrier against the aging effects of the sun.

Choose a broad-spectrum sunblock that provides protection against both ultraviolet (UV) B and A rays. While it's UVB rays that cause cancer, it's the UVA rays that penetrate the skin more deeply, damaging the elastic fibers that keep the skin taut and resilient.

Check ingredients. Your sun block should contain either titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or Parsol 1789 (also known as avobenzone). These ingredients act as an opaque shield between your skin and the aging effects of the sun.

How to Use Sunblock

Ignore "waterproof" claims. Sun block should be reapplied as soon as your skin becomes wet.

Don't assume higher is better. A super-high sun protection factor (SPF) does not guarantee all-day protection. Stick with SPF 15 and re-apply continuously until sundown.

Shelter your skin for 30 minutes after applying sunblock by remaining indoors or wearing protective clothing. Sunblock does not protect you instantaneously.

Apply all over. Even feet exposed to the sun become course, rough and wrinkled. Can't bear to show yourself in your true colors? Consider self-tanners.

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