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Published on June 09, 2016

What the 'best dressed' people are wearing this season

Athleisure wear? Flat, strappy sandals? No, the best thing you can put on this summer season is sunscreen. People are discovering that a great look starts with healthy skin.

Overexposure to the sun can accelerate the aging process causing skin to sag, wrinkle and have a leathery appearance and uneven skin pigmentation. What's more, sun exposure is directly linked to skin cancer. To protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, use a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection.

Some lotions, moisturizers and make-up have added sunscreen (usually SPF 15 or greater). This is generally adequate for everyday use with limited sun exposure. But if you work or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need greater sun protection.

Some sunscreen tips to remember:

  • Check the expiration date—expired sunscreen is not as effective.
  • Check the label for a "broad-spectrum" sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Look for UV blockers such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone (also called Parsol 1789).
  • Apply sunscreen each morning before dressing.
  • Regardless of the SPF, reapply sunscreen about every two hours; more often if you're sweating or swimming.
  • Don't forget those overlooked areas such as ears, neck, nose, the part in your hair and lips (use SPF 45 lip balm).
  • Don't skimp—generously apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply sunscreen if you are outside for more than two hours, especially if you have been swimming or perspiring heavily.
  • Use sunscreen even if it's cloudy since burning rays can penetrate clouds.
  • Use sunscreen year 'round.

Gundersen Plastic Surgery and Dermatology offer a wide selection of moisturizers, make-up and other skin care products with SPF. You can find these products at:

  • Plastic Surgery eStore at shop.gundersenhealth.org/plasticsurgery
  • Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics, Level 5, East Building, Gundersen La Crosse Campus
  • The Boutique, Level 4, Gundersen Onalaska Clinic
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