Soaking in the warm sunshine might seem like a great way to chill out, but once you learn how the sun’s UV radiation can damage your skin, you might not find it all that relaxing.

Over time, too much sun exposure causes photoaging — those fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging we start to see as early as our 30s. In fact, experts estimate that sun exposure alone is responsible for 90% of the changes we see in our skin.

Does that mean you need to avoid the sun and the outdoors altogether? Not at all. It just means you need to be extra smart when it comes to sun exposure, so your skin can thank you with better health and greater beauty. To help you keep your skin healthy and beautiful this summer, Mehran Baheri, MD, and the team at Baheri Wellness Center in Beverly Hills, California, offer these five simple tips.

1. Use sunscreen — correctly

You may think you know the right way to wear sunscreen. But research shows most people either don’t apply enough or don’t apply it as frequently as they should — or both. The American Academy of Dermatology says you need to use at least an ounce (the amount that would fill a shot glass), and cover all exposed areas, rubbing the sunscreen into your skin. Then reapply every two hours.

When selecting a sunscreen, choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation with an SPF of at least 30. Waterproof varieties stay on better if you perspire — but they still should be reapplied after you’ve been in the water.

2. Cover your head

Your scalp can get sunburned too, and so can your ears. Unfortunately, you can’t really slather sunscreen on your scalp, and your ears often get left out, too. Wearing a hat solves both problems, providing shade and protection for your scalp, your ears, and other areas, like the back of your neck, your forehead, and your eyes.

Choose a hat made of tightly woven, breathable materials to block sun while preventing perspiration. “Packable” hats are made to be folded and rolled up without losing their shape, making it easy to toss one in your purse, gym bag, or beach bag before you go out. Or choose a colorful scarf and channel your inner Jackie O.

3. Don’t forget the shades

Even if you’re not into the latest fashion trends, sunglasses are a must-have accessory for women, men, and kids. That’s because a good pair of sunglasses does a lot more than make you look cool. Shades provide needed protection for your eyes and the delicate skin around them.

Whether you go for a designer brand or an off-label variety, be sure the pair you choose carries the UV protection label. And instead of heading to your nearest dollar emporium, shell out a bit more to make sure you’re getting the protection your eye area deserves.

4. Be sun-smart

The days of lying out for hours in the blazing sun are long gone — or they should be. You can do your skin a world of good by limiting the time you spend in the sun, hanging out in the shade when possible. And always do your best to avoid sun exposure when the sun’s rays are strongest — typically between 10 a.m.  and 4 p.m.

Another skin-friendly tip: Instead of baring it all, slip on a lightweight jacket or shirt to give your arms and shoulders a little more protection. Or cover yourself with a beach wrap or towel.

5. Moisturize — inside and out

Your skin thrives on moisture — it’s what gives it its bounce, as well as its germ-protective barrier. Plus, adequate moisture helps keep skin plump and smooth, providing it with the nutrients it needs to ward off early signs of aging.

In the summer, your skin benefits from a light moisturizer during the day to avoid feeling sticky, coupled with a heavier moisturizer at night. And be sure to drink plenty of water — flavor it with slices of lime, lemon, or cucumber if plain water gets boring.

Reversing signs of sun damage

If your skin is already showing some of the signs of photoaging, Dr. Baheri and his team can help reverse the damage with the InMode PLUS® system. PLUS works by stimulating the development of collagen and elastin, two components of skin that can be damaged by too much sun.

To learn about other ways to keep your skin smooth and sexy or to find out about the InMode PLUS system, call our office or book an appointment online.

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