Dr. Katie Beleznay

Vancouver Skin Care Specialist

Dr. Katie Beleznay is a leading medical and cosmetic dermatologist specializing in the latest treatments to repair and rejuvenate the skin

Top 10 Sun Protection Tips

I recently returned from a week in Hawaii and am happy to say that nobody would know it by looking at me. When it comes to photoprotection, I definitely practice what I preach. However, spending time at the beach, I saw a lot of people who were simply not protecting their skin from the sun. In some cases this had clearly added up to years of sun damage. That inspired me to write a post sharing my top sun protection tips...

 

This is not the way most of the Western world enjoys the beach but sun avoidance is the best advice I can offer.

This is not the way most of the Western world enjoys the beach but sun avoidance is the best advice I can offer.

  1. Whenever possible, avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10am - 3pm, when UVB is most intense.
  2. If avoiding the sun is not possible, cover up with clothing as much as possible and wear a broad brimmed hat to protect your face. You should have seen me on the paddle board in Hawaii with my full sleeve rash guard and hat. But it worked!
  3. Always use a high SPF (30+) broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection factor. 
  4. Use higher SPF at higher altitude.  A study at Vail ski resort published in the Journal of Academic Dermatology demonstrated SPF 85 sunscreen as significantly more protective than SPF 50.
  5. Most people under apply sunscreen by half. So apply liberally and remember to reapply!
  6. Spread sunscreen, don't rub it in. Best protection is achieved from a uniform layer visible on the surface of the skin.
  7. Contrary to some common myths, chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens are both effective forms of protection. What is most important is to choose a photostable sunscreen that works for your skin.
  8. Think about sun protection / sun damage at a cumulative level. Protecting from a sunburn today is important, but long-term protection from skin cancers and photoaging is critical (and can save your life!)
  9. Using sunscreen on a daily basis can significantly reduce your risk of various forms of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) and solar karatoses. 
  10. I'll wrap this list up by providing a list of suscreen brands that I recommend to patients:
    • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 30, 45 or 60 with Helioplex or Sensitive Skin SPF 60
    • La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 30, 45, 60 XL
    • Vichy 60 with Mexoryl
    • Loreal Ombrelle 60 XL
    • SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
    • Intellishade SPF 45 Matte

I hope you find this information helpful. I look forward to sharing more skin tips through my blog. If you have any comments or questions please ask below or tweet at me @kbeleznay.