Bad news first. There is still no safe sun exposure. Nada. Not ever. Don’t do it. And if your kids are going to be out in the pool, on the playing field or just hanging outdoors, they need to be protected by high SPF products.
Cara Vasconcelles, MD, with Memorial Physician Services – Koke Mill, recommends aerosol sprays for children over three – if application is done by an adult and the spray is SPF 50 or more. She cautions to apply in an area without wind or dust to ensure an effective coating of protection.
For children under the age of three, Vasconcelles suggests using lotions SPF greater than 50 and/or sticks designed for face application to prevent eye irritation.
“The best way to protect younger children is to limit exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.,” Vasconcelles said. “Also, keep their eyes, heads and vulnerable areas like the ears and nose covered with clothing or high SPF sunscreens when in the sun.”
Unfortunately for adults, once sun damage occurs – freckling, scarring, sun spots, wrinkles – the damage cannot be reversed. The good news? If you crave that summer sun-kissed look, there are options other than sun exposure.
- Spray tans are a stain or dye applied in shades of natural skin darkening that looks realistic when applied correctly. “These can be safe and effective if done by an experienced esthetician,” Vasconcelles said.
- Tinted lotions can be more cost-effective than spray tanning and are also a safe way to achieve a tanned look. Vasconcelles recommends using consumer rating sites, magazines and make-up supply stores to research a reliable product best for your skin tone.
Bottom line according to Vasconcelles? All skin types are susceptible to sun damage. Be smart this summer and wear protection when you and your family enjoy the outdoors.Enjoy LiveWell Online Magazine? Stay up-to-date with a free email subscription!