Best Way to Avoid Skin Sun Damage?

what are tips the doctors and skin experts offer to those of us trying like mad to keep sun damage from destroying our skin!

Doctor Answers 4

The most important tip to prevent sun damage is to wear...

The most important tip to prevent sun damage is to wear a UVA/UVB sunblock with an SPF of 30 every single day. UVB are the sun’s burning rays, which are strongest in the summer months. During these months it is advisable to wear the highest possible number SPF since SPF is protection against UVB rays. UVA on the other hand doesn’t change with the seasons and it remains constant year round. That is why daily UVA/UVB protection is essential for preventing sun damage.


During the summer months be sure to apply a high SPF UVA/UVB sunblock twenty minutes before going outdoors; it takes that long for the sunblock to truly be protective. It is also essential to reapply sunblock throughout the day every 90 minutes; a spray makes application simple and less cumbersome, especially on the beach.

I advise my women patients to wear a good mineral make-up. Most mineral make-up is free of preservatives making them potentially less irritating for patients with sensitive skin. In addition, mineral make-up generally has an SPF of 15 or 20 depending on the brand and blocks both UVA and UVB. Mineral make-up is easy to apply and can be touched up throughout the day.


Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Even though we live in a rainy place like the Northwest,...

Even though we live in a rainy place like the Northwest, sunscreen is still very important! No matter what climate you live in, you still need to think about sun protection. You must also think about moisturizing your skin.

Even if you live in an environment that is seemingly friendly to skin, the power of the sun's rays cannot be underestimated. It is more important than ever to protect and moisturize your skin to retain a healthy-looking glow and to minimize damage due to sun and neglect.

Henri P. Gaboriau, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

6 Surprising Tips to help prevent sun damage!

Although I am a dermatologist, I’m also recognized for experience in detecting and treating skin cancer.
For over 20 years, I’ve completed extensive skin cancer research, including a number of clinical studies conducted at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I’m also a Board Member for the Skin Cancer Foundation and a collaborating member of the American Cancer Society.
What does this all mean? I’m serious about sun protection and prevention. I cannot stress this enough to my patients. I’ve listed a few quick tips that will help you stay smart, shelter your skin and think twice when lounging pool side.
Improve your technique.
Temples, hairline and ears are the main areas of the face forgotten. Apply sunscreen to the corners of the entire face. Poor application technique can lead to skin cancer and pre-cancers occurring in those areas.
Sunglasses can prevent crow’s feet.
Wear sunglasses that completely cover the eye, preventing you from squinting. This, plus sunscreen, work best to prevent wrinkles in this tell-all area of the face.
Pucker up.
It’s important to always apply sunscreen on the lips, since the lips have no ability to tan. Daily application of SPF 15 or higher aides in prevention of skin cancer on the lips.
The greatest anti-ager is sunscreen.
Rain or shine, sunscreen should be applied 365 days a year. The key is finding a sunscreen that is easy to use a texture you love. If you don’t like how it feels, the bottom line is you want use it. It is a misconception that all sunscreens clog pores and leave a sticky residue.
Avoid pink, even before red.
Skin pinkness is actually the early signs of a little burn. Skin that is chronically pinkened by the sun may also be undergoing a mutation to its DNA, which is associated with all types of skin cancers.
Layer it before make-up.
It is not necessary to use a different formula for face vs. body. Sun protection should be applied before any other product (except a liquid: remember to always apply thinnest to thickest products). Its defensive ingredients need to cling directly to skin in order to be most effective.
Be sun smart, I can’t express the importance of it. Not only as an anti-aging measure but also as a healthy lifestyle decision.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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My first line of defense for sun protection is sun...

My first line of defense for sun protection is sun protective clothing. Coolibar.com is an excellent site and Coolibar makes terrific sun-protective clothing products. The fabrics have an especially tight weave that will block out sun, and the fabrics are ultralight and vented, so they are extremely comfortable to wear.

My second line of defense against the sun is the appropriate use of sunscreens. The most important thing is to make sure it has an SPF of 15 or higher and evenly more importantly that it contains UVA protection.

  • The sunscreen that is terrific for the face and is noncomedogenic is called Melashade.
  • I recommend the Vanicream or Skinceuticals line for the rest of the body, and the Sea & Ski spray brand for children.
  • The appropriate way to use sunscreens is to apply them 30 minutes before sun exposure (because it takes 15 to 20 minutes to set up properly in the skin) and then to reapply every hour to maintain activity. Additionally, they should be reapplied even more frequently if you are either perspiring or swimming.
  • Sunscreens can be applied to children starting at age 6 months. Before that, just keep them covered.

I think one of the most important things that anyone can do for their skin is to sun protect, the earlier the better. By age 21, most people have already received 75% of their total lifetime ultraviolet exposure, but nevertheless, better late than never. It is also important for parents and grandparents to educate their children on the appropriate ways to sun protect.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD
Minneapolis Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.