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Save Your Skin This Summer

A guide to buying skincare products for sun protection and recovery

Summertime is finally in full swing and as Rochester residents have already seen, it’s going to be a hot one. Though you shouldn’t let temperatures pushing the triple digits keep you cooped up indoors, those pursuing anti-aging treatments like bioidentical hormone replacement might be apprehensive about the damage that summertime activities can do to their skin.


Gusting winds, pool chlorine, sea salt, the sun’s rays—all of these things can wreak havoc on even the best complexions, making protection and care a necessity for those looking to make it to the fall with a wicked tan and no more wrinkles to show for it. Yet, not all skincare products are created equal—and some may actually be doing you more harm than good. To help you make the most out of your summer without sacrificing your skin, here’s the lowdown on how to pick the perfect summer protection beauty products.


Sun Protection

The sun’s dangerous rays come in two forms: UVB rays, which can give you sunburn, and UVA rays, which can cause premature aging, dryness, saggy skin, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Both types of rays are known to cause skin cancer. Though you probably already use sunscreen to fight off these kinds of damaging effects, you might not know that a sunscreen product’s SPF only indicates its ability to fight UVB rays and does not guarantee any protection from UVAs. Additionally, most conventional sunscreens contain compounds that actually generate free radicals, which are harmful agents within the body that contribute to aging, cellular damage and disease.


For the very best anti-aging sunscreen, try buying a natural product that contains titanium oxide or micronized zinc oxide. These ingredients help to reflect the sun’s rays from the skin. Look for a label that clearly states the product has “UVA/UVB protection” to guarantee that you’re protected from all the sun’s harmful rays, not just sunburn. Sunscreen might be one of the most important summer skincare products around, but knowing how to pick the right kind can really save your skin.


Sun Recovery

Let’s say you’ve just come back from a fun-filled day in the sun, but find that your sunscreen didn’t protect you as well as you hoped it would. These things happen—regardless of how “waterproof” a sunscreen claims to be, this assertion is patently false, meaning that any sunscreen can wash away when swimming or sweating. If you pick the right sunscreen, but don’t regularly reapply it, you may be suffering from red-hot sunburn before you even realize it.


But don’t panic—now is the time for some damage control, and that means a good after-sun care product. Like sunscreens and most other common skincare products, many after-sun lotions and creams are petroleum-based and contain a number of potentially harmful synthetic substances. Again, your best bet is to go as natural as possible by selecting a product that seems especially designed by Mother Nature to help our skin recover from sun damage: aloe vera.


The leaves of the aloe vera plant have been used for their healing properties for thousands of years. Now, you can easily find a gel made from this miraculous plant that will immediately soothe and cool the skin upon contact, creating a layer of protection that locks in moisture and helps your skin heal faster and alleviates dryness. For best results, buy a product that is as close to pure aloe vera gel as possible.


Don’t let the threat of dangerous rays ruin your fun this season. With the right skincare products, you can have fun outdoors in the comfort of your own skin all summer long. Let us know what other great products you’re using to protect your skin this summer!