Summertime means fun in the Oklahoma sun with more hours outside and longer days. Enjoy barbecues, tubing, and pool parties, but be smart when you’re under the dangerous rays of the sun.

As many as 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The sun also has less ominous, but still serious, effects. Unprotected time in the sun accelerates the signs of aging, including sunspots, wrinkles, and melasma.

Your skin can look dry and dehydrated as a result of sun exposure, too, so your skin loses its radiant glow and looks dull and tired.

At Signature Skin Care, we can help you restore healthy skin that’s been damaged by the sun’s rays. But if you protect yourself on these beautiful summer days, you can delay the signs of aging and avoid serious sun exposure complications.

Keep your eye on the clock

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm. If you are active outdoors — jogging or hiking — do your best to go before or after these peak ultraviolet (UV) ray times.

Make sunscreen a constant companion

Regardless of when you’re outside, even if it’s a cloudy Oklahoma day, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15, and preferably much higher. SPF 15 protects you from 93% of dangerous UVB rays, while SPF 30 gives you 97% protection. Make sure the sunscreen you choose is “broad spectrum” so you’re protected against both UVA and UVB rays.

Get yourself an assortment of sun protection lotions so you have one that’s heavy in texture for your body and lighter for your face. You may also want a separate sunscreen for delicate areas, such as your lips and the tips of the ears. These delicate areas have particularly thin skin that’s vulnerable to damage.

Carry sunscreen in your car and your purse, and keep it in your home. This way, you always have access.

Know how to apply sunscreen

Spritzing yourself once you’re laying out by the pool isn’t optimal. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you head out so your skin absorbs it. Reapply it every two hours or just after sweating or water sports.

Drink lots of water

Drinking ample water keeps your skin happy year-round, but it’s especially helpful in summer. You sweat more, especially in the humid heat, and higher temps just naturally mean you need more water. Dehydration can make your skin appear dull and accentuate the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Wear a hat

A hat with a wide brim protects your delicate skin from the sun. A hat isn’t a replacement for sunscreen — it’s a complement. The brim adds another layer of protection to the delicate skin of your face, décolleté, and neck.

You also benefit from oversized sunglasses that cover the thin skin around your eyes. And if you know you’ll be outside in the peak sun hours and are susceptible to burns, sun protective clothing is a must, too.

Minimize the damage

Should you spend too much time in the sun and get a sunburn, act quickly to minimize the damage. Reduce inflammation with cold compresses made with ice water or take a cool shower. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — especially while your skin is still damp. At Signature Skin Care, we can recommend a good product. Drink plenty of water to prevent excessive dehydration.

The sun is an iconic sign of summer, but it deserves respect. If you plan any outdoor activity, take steps to protect your skin. If you need recommendations for sunscreens, skin care products, or procedures to undo the damage of years of sun exposure, call or book an appointment online with Signature Skin Care.

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