When it comes to sun protection, less is not more. Dr. Katie Manno, MD, dermatologist with Renown Dermatology Services, explains how you can protect your skin during the sun-filled days of summer.

Days spent lounging by the pool, kayaking at Lake Tahoe or hiking with friends can expose your skin to an intense amount of sun during summer months in the Sierra Nevada region.

Renown Health Dermatologist Katie Manno, MD, has great tips to help keep your skin protected while you’re outside enjoying summertime activities.

Sunscreen is a Must

If you walk down the skincare aisle of any drugstore, you’re likely to find a massive selection of sunscreens and brands to choose from. Dr. Manno recommends to choose a sunscreen with the following:

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • “Broad spectrum” coverage indicated on the label
  • Mineral-based ingredients, which include zinc oxide (these sunscreens are less harmful to coral reefs and other natural water ecosystems)

How to Apply Sunscreen

Most people apply only 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen – and some think a single application is all that’s needed. Not true, says Dr. Manno. You need to keep re-applying while you’re outside!

Here’s how much sunscreen you should use and where:

  • A quarter-sized amount for your face
  • 1-1.5 oz for the body, which is about the size of a shot glass
  • Apply it anywhere that will be sun-exposed – commonly forgotten spots include:
    • Lips
    • Hands
    • Ears
    • Back of your neck
    • Back of your knees
  • Remember to re-apply every two hours when outdoors (yes, even those wiggly kids need to re-apply if you can get them to stand still for two minutes!)

Limit Time Spent in the Sun

That summer glow is trendy right now, but don’t risk sun damage and skin aging just for fashion! Less sun means you can reduce your risk for sun-related skin damage problems like skin cancer (such as melanomas). Here are a few tips to help reduce your sun exposure without ruining your outdoor activities:

  • Avoid the sun during midday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Be mindful of your environment (i.e. When you are out on the lake, water will reflect rays back on the skin, so be sure to re-apply even if you haven’t gone in the water)
  • Seek shade when possible

Sun protection in higher altitudes like Lake Tahoe, Reno and other parts of the Sierra Nevada is extremely important, so protect the health of your skin and reduce your risk for damage.

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