In a recent viral video, videographer Thomas Leveritt shows people on the street what they look like under ultraviolet light, exposing sun damage beneath the skin. The ultraviolet camera reveals changes to their skin that aren’t yet visible to the naked eye such as freckles, wrinkles and other signs of UV damage. With this video in mind, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares what you can do to protect yourself from sun damage and keep your skin looking youthful.

Applying sunscreen every day protects your skin from premature aging, sun damage and skin cancer, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a safe tan. Any change in your skin is a sign of sun damage. This damage doesn’t make itself known right away, either. Over time, sun exposure can lead to signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. UV exposure also creates an uneven skin tone and breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin, giving the complexion a saggy appearance.

Most skin cancer is caused by too much UV exposure. In the early stages, it usually resembles a freckle or a mole that can change in size, shape or color. The best way to avoid skin cancer is through regular self checks and visits to your dermatologist. This will also improve your chances of catching it early when it’s easily treatable.

The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to wear sunscreen every day and stay out of the sun. Apply a daily sunscreen and avoid outside activities during peak hours when the sun is directly overhead. Following these basic rules will help keep your skin looking youthful and healthy, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen every day for healthy skin.

When shopping for sunscreen, many people only look at the SPF, which is not the best way to determine if your sunscreen is adequate. SPF only explains how well a produce protects against UVB rays, not UVA. Both UV rays cause skin cancer so it’s important to choose a broad spectrum formula. Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays without irritating sensitive skin.

As a general rule, Dr. Joel Schlessinger and other dermatologists recommend applying a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapplying every two hours. For optimal sun protection, avoid excessive sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun is most intense. It’s also important to protect your skin with proper clothing such as loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, as well as wide-brimmed hats.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

Posted Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 3:20 pm
Filed Under Category: Aging Skin Care, Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips
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