Summer doesn’t last long, but the damaging effects of the sun could last a lifetime unless you take the proper precautions, says UBC professor Harvey Lui, a professor and chair of the department of dermatology and skin science in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.
How do you know which sunscreen is the right one for you?
There are three key things to look out for: 1) the SPF number should be 30 or higher. 2) “broad spectrum” coverage for both UVB and UVA, and 3) make sure the product has the logo for the Canadian Dermatology Association on it which means it’s been officially reviewed by Canadian dermatologists as providing good sun protection. Beyond that, it’s a matter of preference.
What’s the biggest mistake people make with sunscreen?
People do not put enough on. They apply it too thinly and don’t get the right degree of protection. If the product you’re using comes out of a bottle and is white-colored, by the time you’re finished rubbing it on your skin, you should still be able to see a trace of white colour on your skin.
Besides using a topical sunscreen, how else can you protect yourself from the sun?
If you’re going to garden or play sports, better to do it before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m. The harmful rays of the sun are at their peak between those times. Avoiding that window of time is to your advantage. Other ways to protect your skin is to use common sense – seek the shade and cover up with clothing and hats.
How do you get a tan without harming your skin?
There really is no such thing as a safe tan. Once you get a tan it means your skin has sustained enough exposure to UV rays that it’s been harmed. It’s like smoking filtered cigarettes and thinking that they are safer for you. Ultimately, the presence of a tan means that your skin has absorbed harmful UV rays.