By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Ltd.
June 15, 2017
Category: Dermatology
Tags: sunscreen  

When it comes to protecting skin from the sun, frequency is the first thing to consider. “Sunscreen isn’t glue. It’s not going to stay on sunscreenforever,” said Dr. Jeffrey Berti, a Hinsdale dermatologist with offices in Willowbrook and South Barrington, IL. "While it’s important to protect skin every day of the year, sunscreen and hydration become even more vital in summer, when the skin is more exposed to potentially damaging elements," Dr. Berti said. But a trip to the store to pick up a bottle of sunscreen or moisturizer isn’t as simple as it might seem.

“There are hundreds, maybe thousands of choices out there,” Dr. Berti said. Products vary in form, thickness, scent, and of course, sun protection. A product’s sun protection factor, or SPF, measures its ability to block the sun’s harmful rays. The SPF can range from 2 to beyond 100, with higher numbers often correlating with higher prices. But there’s little reason to invest in a lotion with a high SPF. A product with an SPF of 15 blocks 93 percent of harmful rays. One with a 30 SPF blocks 97 percent.

The newest products on the sunscreen market boast a low viscosity rather than a high SPF. “Ultralight products are about as thin as water,” Dr. Berti said, and feel more comfortable to many people than the thick, sticky sunscreens of previous summers. Ultralight products don’t clog pores like other sunscreens and are especially good for people who tend to break out. Many of these ultralight products are available in spray form. And while the products are effective, they must be used properly to work correctly. You have to rub it in. You can miss a spot easily if you don’t. And because the products don’t stick like thicker lotions, they must be reapplied more frequently.

Second to summer sun protection is hydration.  Dr. Berti suggests hydrating from the inside by drinking plenty of water and from the outside with a moisture-rich lotion applied right after a bath or shower. When choosing a lotion, it’s suggested to read labels to find products that don’t have artificial colors, scents or other potentially irritating or harmful additives. “Chemical-free is the way to be,” he said. Chemicals in lotions and other products can and do seep into the body. “They go right through your skin and into your system,” Berti said.

The dermatologists at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery in Willowbrook and South Barrington, IL, Dr. Jeffrey Berti and Dr. Toula Berti, provide various sunscreens for purchase at their office, La Roche-Posay as well as the Vanicream products.

Also of note, anyone who notices something new on their skin or something that isn’t healing should see a dermatologist, not only to rule out or catch potentially deadly skin cancer but to restore any damage that previous summers might have caused.

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