How to Keep Your Skin Protected From the Summer Sun


I love the outdoors just like the next person, but as an esthetician (read my bio here) and someone who wants to prevent both skin cancer, wrinkles and skin growths brought on by UVA and UVB exposure (also known as photo aging), I make a conscious effort to keep my own skin protected from the sun. On a recent trip to Miami, the picture above is what I wore when I went for an afternoon walk by the beach. Sure, some might think I look a bit weird, but it doesn’t bother me. My skin and its health is more important, so I’m okay with any strange looks I might get.

Here’s how to protect your skin from the sun: 

Wear UVA/UVB-protective clothing. I purchased both the shirt and the hat from a company called Sun Precautions. They make clothing that protects more than 97% of UVA and UVB rays and gives all-day protection so you never have to apply sunscreen. The fabrics used in most summer cotton t-shirts just don’t provide adequate protection and, in fact, I’ve seen some studies where a t-shirt can only offer an SPF 8 and it drops to an SPF 2 if the shirt gets wet.

Wear a hat. This hat has a bigger bill than a regular baseball cap or most visors, so it provides more shading for the face, plus it has the fabric in the back to protect my neck. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is ideal.

Wear sunglasses. Most sunglasses nowadays are made to protect against UV rays and, therefore, offer excellent eye protection. Plus, wearing sunglasses prevents you from squinting, which helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from appearing as quickly around the eyes.

Wear sunscreen on any exposed areas. So even though I’m wearing a protective hat, I certainly have a generous coat of sunscreen on my face and neck (I love using Daily Protection SPF 30 because it’s formulated for oily, acne-prone skin types like mine), but then I also dust on ColoreScience Mineral Powder SPF 50 over it to provide extra protection. With this, my skin never gets any tan or sunburn, plus I’m reapplying every hour (yes, every hour) when I’m outdoors. On my legs and hands, I spray on an SPF 30 sunscreen. I enjoy using the sprays as I find them so easy to use. I make sure to spray on a generous coat since the sprays can be very sheer and I want to make sure I’m getting full protection.

Note: Sunscreens wear off, sweat off and wash off.  Applying liberally and often makes all the difference.

If you want to look young, avoid the sun. A little sun means a little damage; a lot of sun means a lot of damage.  The choice is yours. With these sun protecting strategies, I never get a burn or tan but still get to enjoy the sunshine.

Summer means fun in the outdoors; relax and enjoy, but be safe with your skin!

And what’s the best treatment, aside from sun protection for wrinkles and sun damage? Hands down, prescription retinoids or non-prescription retinols like Advanced Resurfacing Serum. You can read more about the benefits here.

Read: My Personal Skin Care Secrets

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take our Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or Facetime.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!