Sunscreen: Your #1 New Year’s Resolution

It’s the single best way to insure healthy skin, beautiful skin all year. It protects against skin cancer and slays premature aging. It doesn’t require the beauty budget of a Hollywood star or the services of a cosmetic surgeon. It’s no secret: you’ve known about it since your earliest beach days. The means to keep this most important resolution is probably sitting right on your bathroom counter or in your makeup bag. But if you’re like most people, it’s sitting unused.

Sunscreen: The Prescription Nobody Follows

As well advertised as the benefits of sun protection are, many of us still haven’t caught on. In a Centers for Disease Control survey shared by the American Academy of Dermatology in 2015, only 43% of US women and 18% of US men reported using sunscreen regularly on their faces. When it comes to applying sunscreen to other exposed skin, men did a better job than women (though the overall percentage of use is still less than 1 in 5). Women seem to be getting and paying attention to the message that UV radiation advances skin aging as well as contributing to the epidemic of skin cancer, but all of us–women and men–have a long way to go in doing what we need to do to protect our skin.

Don’t Just Say You’re Using Sunscreen; Do It, and Do It Right

Even those of us who claim to be faithful practitioners of sun protection often fall short. So make it your New Year’s resolution to up your sunscreen knowledge and use, starting today. Don’t just skim these AAD guidelines; post them on your mirror, and follow them.

  1. Choose a broad-spectrum (effective against both UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  2. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minute before sun exposure.
  3. Use enough sunscreen to cover your whole body (about an ounce for most adults), and apply it to all exposed areas, including the ears, scalp, tops of the feet and legs.
  4. Ask someone else to help you apply sunscreen on hard-to-reach spots like your back.
  5. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.

This means, by the way, you–whatever your age, gender, or skin tone. And it means every day, in every kind of weather. Children, the elderly, people with previous incidence of skin cancer, those who work outdoors, and people who’ve had recent cosmetic procedures or who use certain skin care products like retinols need to take special precautions.

Let Us Help You Keep Your Sunscreen Resolution

At Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena, we see daily the effects of not keeping the sunscreen resolution. So we want to be your partner in healthy skin and beautiful skin all year long. We carry a wide line of physician-approved sunscreens for every skin type, including those formulated for special circumstances such as post-procedure protection. To help make your daily UV protection a breeze, we recommend combination products like Revision’s Intellishade tinted moisturizer, which offers daily moisturizing, skin-matched tinting, and broad-spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen in one application. You can also find stylish, packable sun hats with built-in UPF 50 protection.

For advice on the best sunscreen for you, call or email our cosmetic consultant Mary Lou. And remember that we also offer a full array solutions for addressing existing UV damage and reversing signs of aging, as well as superb medical diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers–we’d just rather not have to use them so often for such a preventable problem.

Happy New Year. Now go slather!