Safety Tips for Sunbathers

Featured Article, Skin Center, Sun Protection
on June 3, 2011
iStock Photo

Unless you like the idea of looking leathery and fighting skin cancer for the rest of your life, you’ve probably gotten on board with the ritual of slathering on sunscreen. Yes, you know SPF is a necessity and probably have a few sunscreen brands that you consistently rely on to shield your skin, but there’s plenty of news in the world of sun damage prevention. Keep reading to learn more about this summer’s biggest complexion protection trends.

  • Phone it in. Need help remembering to reapply sunscreen or choosing the best level of protection for any given day? There’s an app for that—or, more accurately, there are several. Free iPhone applications like Coppertone’s MyUV Alert, Sun Alert Lite and KINeSYS’ UV Safe Timer can look up your location’s UV index forecast and recommend a personalized level of protection based on your skin type, altitude and even activity level. The apps will also set an alert to tell you when it’s time to reapply. “Even when it’s a cloudy day you can get burned, so tools like this, that make people more aware of when they could be damaging their skin, are great,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Ronald L. Moy, current president of the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Protect and correct. There are plenty of products that guard against sunburn, but a few new sunscreens go beyond protection and actually aim to repair damage that’s already been done. NIA 24’s Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF 30 PA +++ ($45, offers broad-spectrum UV protection and contains the brand’s patented Pro-Niacin complex, which can diminish the look of sun spots, improve skin texture and help smooth fine lines. For even more cutting-edge protection, there’s DNA EGF Renewal’s DNA Defense SPF 30+ ($45, and Neova’s DNA Damage Control Active SPF 45 ($46, Both formulas include DNA repair enzymes (which according to Moy are present in the body from birth but are depleted as we age) to fix UV-induced damage to DNA that leads to aging and skin cancer.
  • Reapplication made simple. According to one recent study, a whopping 70 percent of Americans do not reapply sunscreen when they are outdoors for long periods. Add a water activity to the mix and we’d bet even more people would cop to being lax about reapplication. Who wants to stop everything and wait until skin is completely dry before smoothing on more sunscreen? With Aveeno’s Hydrosport Sunblock Lotion SPF 85 ($10.99, drug and mass retailers) and Neutrogena’s Wet Skin Sunblock Spray 30 ($8.99, drug and mass retailers), you don’t have to. Unlike other sunscreens that make a drippy, white mess when applied to wet skin, these broad-spectrum protectors have a water-repelling formula that helps them adhere to and effectively protect wet or sweaty skin.