Cancer Featured

Summer skin care

Woman Applying Sunscreen
Written by Monica Matys

With the arrival of sunnier days, dermatologist Dr. Kucy Pon shares a few essential summer skin care tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing all season long.

A good summer skin care routine is essential to counteract the effects of factors like sweating and pollution. It is recommended to wash your face twice a day to remove dirt and excess oil. Immediately after washing, use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated without clogging pores, and avoid heavy products that can cause breakouts.

Sun protection is crucial for everyone all year long. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher regularly and reapply every two to three hours. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can get through windows, even if you are indoors or inside a car, so wearing sunscreen daily is recommended. Additionally, wear a hat, sunglasses and sun-protective (UPF) clothing to further shield your skin from potential damage.

To prevent the appearance of sun-spots, use tinted sunscreens. Recent studies reveal that visible light, from sources like the sun, indoor lighting and screens, contributes to skin pigmentation. Most sunscreens protect against UV light, which can increase the risk of sunburns and skin cancer, but not against visible light. Tinted sunscreens resemble foundation and contain both UV filters and iron oxides, which block visible light.

If you do happen to get a sunburn this summer, get inside as soon as possible to a cool, air-conditioned space. To help soothe your skin, take cool baths, showers or apply cool compresses. Afterward, gently pat your skin dry and apply a thin layer of a lightweight moisturizer to ease dryness. Using a soothing moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy can provide additional relief with a cooling effect. If your sunburn is very red and uncomfortable, you can apply an over-the-counter mild hydrocortisone cream two to three times a day. For more severe cases, you may need to see a doctor for a stronger cream. To avoid further irritation wear lightweight, loose clothing and steer clear of irritating skin care products like exfoliating creams. When you go outside again, protect your skin by seeking shade and using sun protection.

During this season and all year long, it’s important to monitor your skin and moles. The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation has helpful resources to guide you. Be sure to see a doctor if you notice any changes.


About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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