The Schlessinger Family at Mount Rushmore

Daniel, Nancy, Bernie, June and Dr. Joel Schlessinger on vacation at Mount Rushmore, June 2012

Dr. Joel Schlessinger just returned back to Omaha after a vacation to Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Dr. Joel Schlessinger, along with his wife, son and parents spent the last week hiking and exploring these scenic parts of America.

“While I was hiking in the Grand Canyon, which is about 8000 feet above sea level, I took more precautions than I would at sea level as the cloud cover isn’t as much. This leads to many more sun risks,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.

High altitudes can be quite deceptive–at higher altitudes, many of the sun’s harmful rays are not filtered as well by the atmosphere. Temperatures are cooler but there is an increased light intensity. This can lead to serious skin burns that can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his family followed a strict sun protection regimen to keep their skin protected from the harmful rays at high altitudes. This included the best sunscreen for high altitudes and sports, sun protection hats and sun protection clothing.

As for sunscreen, Dr. Joel Schlessinger chose three of the best sunscreen choices for active lifestyles. He used EltaMD Clear SPF 46 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid alternately on his face. EltaMD Clear is lightweight and oil-free, perfect for any occasion where sweating may be an issue. Anthelios Fluid is also lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a matte finish.

He also used EltaMD Sport SPF 50 on his arms and neck. This is the best sunscreen for athletes and those who maintain an active lifestyle. Perfect for hiking, the Schlessingers used this sunscreen to protect their skin while exploring the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, as it is sweat- and water-resistant.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger also wore a Tilley Hat and a Columbia UPF shirt for extra coverage. Tilley is a brand of sun protection hats made from highly researched fabrics that help to protect your skin from 98% of the sun’s damaging rays. As for sun protection clothing, look for any clothes that have a UPF rating. UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, measures the UV protection provided by fabric.

Don’t forget about your eyes – UV rays can also cause eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, photokeratitis and more. To protect his eyes, Dr. Joel Schlessinger wore a pair of polarized sunglasses to safeguard against damaging UV rays.

In addition to sunscreen, sun protection hats and sun protection clothing, it’s important to avoid the sun during peak hours. Between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, try to stay out of direct sunlight.

“My son and I went down to a place 3 miles into the canyon and started at 3PM, arriving back to the top at 6:30PM to avoid the heaviest sunlight — and to avoid a burn!” Dr. Joel Schlessinger said.

To recap, here is Dr. Joel Schlessinger’s recommended high altitude sun protection regimen:

  • The best sunscreen for athletes and athletic lifestyles
  • Accessories such as sun protection hats and sunglasses
  • Sun protection clothing with a high UPF rating
  • Avoid the peak hours of 10AM – 3PM when the sun is the strongest

Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends this extensive sun protection regimen to help save your skin from damage at high altitudes.

“While this may seem a bit much to most folks, it is a good way to protect your skin from burning.”

What outdoor activities do you partake in that require extra sun protection?

Posted Monday, June 18th, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Filed Under Category: Dr. Joel Schlessinger and Family, Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips
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