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How to Prepare Your Skin for the Harsh Summer Sun

Protect your skin from the sun – before the summer fun

Tracy Block Staff Reporter
Published:
Updated:
5 min read
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People are taken aback when I tell them I’m 43, and I know it has to do with sun protection. 
- Annie Vazquez, The Fashion Poet


Long days in the summer sun attract Americans to beaches and backyard barbecues daily. However, all that fun in the sun can wreak havoc on the body's largest organ – the skin. According to Skincare.org, more than 9,500 people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Additional, shocking facts from the report include:

• Every hour, more than 2 people die of skin cancer in the US.

• At least 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70.

• Acquiring 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of contracting melanoma.

• More people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined.

• The estimated annual cost of treating skin cancer in the U.S. is $8.1 billion.

Summer Sun & SPF Protection

Board-certified oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Zoumalan, who is based in Beverly Hills, California, is a major proponent of proper skincare. In fact, Zoumalan is also the inventor, founder, and CEO of the Skinuva Skincare line, which is used to treat scarring and hyperpigmentation – the latter of which can worsen with overexposure to UV light. “As the summer months are coming around, it is so important to use sunscreen when outside,” urges Dr. Zoumalan. “A good, mineral-based, reef-safe SPF30, or above, is adequate when it comes to sunscreen.” 

However, the difference between SPF30 and SPF50, for example, is not that significant, according to Dr. Zoumalan, who says there is only a 1% increase in protection against UVB rays from one grade to the next. “No sunscreen can block all UV rays,” he shares.

Additionally, Dr. Zoumalan encourages sunseekers to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, with reapplication plans in place every 2 hours while outside. “Also, reapply after you go swimming or due to excessive sweating,” Dr. Zoumalan offers.

The Importance of Ingredients

Although biased when it comes to recommendations for skincare products outside of his line, Dr. Zoumalan has not yet launched items containing SPF. Nonetheless, when shopping for the right skincare protection, he suggests being very cautious about products that contain parabens and sulfates. “Parabens may be associated with hormonal imbalance, and there has been some controversy about their association with breast cancer (although not completely validated),” he says. On the other hand, “sulfates can result in skin and eye irritation, especially in those with sensitive skin.”

So, which brands are safe to consider? Dr. Zoumalan recommends EltaMD UV Pure, which is a mineral-based, non-tinted sunscreen suitable for both the face and body. In addition, Dr. Zoumalan suggests using a sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer, especially for the face, so you are not applying multiple products at any given time. “I find that this works best for males that don’t like to use too many skincare products,” he says. “Oftentimes, women who are on the go do not want to layer their skin with too many products, either.” Consequently, Zoumalan says to keep an eye out for a moisturizing sunscreen from Skinuva soon – by the end of 2020.

Clean & Ageless Skin Protection

Award-winning lifestyle and beauty blogger Annie Vasquez shifted gears into the skincare sect 3 years ago. “I was promoting a brand that tested on animals, and was called out on it,” she admits. “At the time, I really was not knowledgeable about what cruelty-free or ‘clean beauty’ was.” Alas, following the incident, The Fashion Poet did her research and made the switch. “I stopped working with brands that tested on animals, and as time went by, I got smarter about clean products,” she says.

To illustrate, Vasquez has incorporated clean beauty into her own skin regimen, since she spends time outdoors in her hometown of Miami – not only in the summer months, but all year. “We have longer days of sun exposure in the summer, though, and we tend to be outdoors more. Sun exposure, over time, cannot only cause cancer, but really ages the skin,” explains Vasquez, who stopped spending time in the sun leisurely at age 25. “People are taken aback when I tell them I’m 43, and I know it has to do with sun protection. It’s important to take care of your skin for your health, and also so you can live a long, healthy life. Aging is a beautiful thing, but you want to do it in the right way.”

A Beauty Blogger's Winning Formula

So, what is Vazquez’s skincare regimen like, exactly? Actually, it’s quite simple. First, she washes her face and applies Organic Jojoba Oil from Sky Organics. Next, she applies Supergoop PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract (suitable for both the face and body), a few minutes after the jojoba oil sets. Then, she applies her makeup and goes about her day. In the evening, she washes her face and reapplies her Sky Organics oil, which both removes her makeup and acts as a moisturizer. “I keep my routine simple and clean,” she says. “Less is better.” For further nourishment, Vazquez recommends using Vitamin E oil for skin hydration, as well as a Vitamin C cream to brighten the skin.

Furthermore, Vazquez always has sun protection apparel on hand as an extra shield. “I wear sunglasses and a hat, and thin, breathable, long-sleeve T-shirts from Madewell, which I love,” she shares.


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How to Prepare Your Skin for the Harsh Summer Sun

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