There’s a reason that every celebrity dermatologist and age-defying beauty sings the praises of sunscreen…it works! We’re big believers in the protective genius of a good physical sunscreen, particularly on the face and décolletage. But sunlight can be our friend when we’re armed with good information.

It’s important to have a healthy respect for what the sun can do for the human body – both positively and negatively. A great deal of the sun science reported on these days is harshly critical of virtually all UVA and UVB exposure. As a result, for many of us being out in the sun seems like a recipe for future skin cancer. But smart sunning has amazing benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

One of the most important ways the sun contributes to overall health is through the production of Vitamin D. This powerhouse vitamin is vital for strong bones, and has been linked to reduced risks of multiple sclerosis and certain types of cancer. The sun is also powerfully effective at reducing the negative impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and helping to maintain your body’s healthy sleep cycle.

So how can we wisely enjoy our seasons in the sun? Here are a few essential tips:

  1. Use a good physical sunscreen, particularly on the face and décolleté. Don’t be afraid to splurge on the sunscreen you use in these areas as they are particularly susceptible to sun damage.
  2. Be generous with sunscreen application, and always reapply zealously every two hours, particularly if you’re in the water!
  3. Make a big, floppy hat your friend and style statement! A hat can protect vulnerable areas we often forget to cover with sunscreen, such as the scalp and ears.
  4. Try and avoid prolonged exposure during peak UVA and UVB power times, typically between 10 am and 2 pm.
  5. If you have to be out without protective clothing or sunscreen, try and limit your time to 15 minutes or so.

If you’re interested in addressing past sun damage that might be showing on your face, chest, or hands, be sure to call our office and set up a free consultation with Dr. Summer. And start using these suggestions to get out and enjoy all the benefits of sunshine without worry!

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