Taking care of your skin in summer is a serious business with pitfalls aplenty: you need to know how to avoid them.

First things first: the sun’s rays are detrimental to your skin. It is the sun makes it wrinkled and leads to unappealing spots and marks. The more you expose yourself to solar radiation, the higher the risks of various types of cancer and oxidative stress. So, the best way to keep yourself from harm is to avoid being in the sun altogether.

However, there are very few people who are ready to give up hanging out at the beach or pool. So what should you do to keep the harm to a minimum?

Basically, there are two types of ultraviolet (UV) that reach the Earth’s surface: ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. Over-exposure to UVB has an immediate effect and leads to sunburn. UVA activates cells that produce melanin that causes tanning; over-exposure to UVA often results in DNA mutations and cancer.

The sunscreen blocks ultraviolet rays and changes their effect. The math behind so called ‘SPF rating’ of the sunscreen is extremely easy: a lotion with SPF will only let 1/15th of the radiation to pass through the protective layer.

However, regular sunscreens only protect you from UVB radiation: to stop UVA rays you need a broad-spectrum sunblock. What makes matters worse is that a lot of sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection in reality only filter a small quantity of UVA: make sure that you chose products that come from reputable brands.

The sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or even more often: products with higher SPF usually don’t last long. Water washes the sunscreen off: always reapply it after sweating or swimming. Hypoallergenic products are especially recommended for people with sensitive skin.

To protect your face and eyes when outdoors get a hat with a wide brim and wear sunglasses. Avoid going out between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is high in the sky. Use the sunscreen even on cloudy days and make sure that you apply it evenly.

Have a great time in summer!