Skin Safety in the Summer Sun

The Warmth of the Sun

It’s beautiful outside today! We’ve been waiting to say those words for months now as the winter months crept by at a snail’s pace. At long last, we’re able to get out and enjoy beautiful, sunny days! Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for our serotonin levels, and certainly good for us body, mind, and spirit, but those UV rays can wreak havoc with our skin.

Gone are the days when we can delude ourselves into thinking that lying out in the sunshine coated in baby oil is good for us. We can’t justify using suntan lotion anymore, either, if there ever was such a thing. Now that we know better, we can do better. Sunscreen is important! Not only is it important in anti-aging but it’s important to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer.

What Kind of Sunscreen Should I Use?

We’re bombarded by advertising. Television, print, and social media are all laden with advertisements about the best sun protection product to purchase. All the choices are overwhelming, but there are some things to think about when you’re choosing the best sunscreen for you and your family.

There are two kinds of sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens, of course, contain chemicals that work after they’re absorbed into the skin. They take a short period of time to become effective; perhaps 30 minutes or so. After penetrating the skin, a chemical sunscreen will filter out the harmful UVA and UVB rays, providing protection from sun damage. Chemical sunscreens may include chemicals like:

  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Octocrylene

Although these chemicals have been deemed safe by the FDA, they may be absorbed into the bloodstream, creating a higher level of that chemical within the body than is safe. In addition to the questions raised about the safety profile of them for the human body, some of these chemicals have been found harmful to marine life.

Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, are created through a more natural formula of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. That’s it. These two simple ingredients create sunscreen that provides a protective barrier from the sun’s harmful rays immediately after its application. Mineral sunscreens also have been shown to be equally effective in protecting one’s skin from the sun as long as they:

  • Are applied properly (without missing any spots)
  • Contain a high enough SPF (or sun protection factor)
  • Are reapplied every two hours

For any sunscreen to be effective, it should contain an SPF of at least 30 and be a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

What if I Get A Sunburn?

For those in the Quincy, IL area, Vallee Health Repair recommends that you:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Apply cool cloths to the sunburned area
  • Use a cooling lotion or aloe vera gel for topical relief

If your sunburn symptoms include blisters, you might benefit from a visit to our clinic where we may recommend medication or even IV therapy to help that sunburn heal faster. If you develop any new, concerning spots or moles on your skin, we can look at those, too. Call (217) 577-2992 or email us at so we can help you enjoy your summer while maintaining healthy skin.

Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.