It goes without saying that a day at the beach (or pool) calls for sunscreen. And, while we’re not discounting the importance of protecting your skin from the sun with SPF (it’s the best anti-aging tactic out there), there are other products you should be using too. We’ve got the lowdown on what else you need—some you may already have—that you probably wouldn’t think about using before a day out in the sun.
Antioxidants are crucial in preventing and minimizing sun-related skin damage. “Antioxidants are important because they give the body a boost in deactivating harmful chemicals in the body known as free radicals, which are unstable compounds that can attack and injure a cell’s structure,” says Mount Kisco, NY, dermatologist David Bank, MD. Failure to use an antioxidant in the weeks and months leading up to sun exposure, especially when you know you won’t be somewhere where you can seek shelter from the sun, is like inviting sun and environmental damage in to ruin your skin. Melbourne, FL, dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD, adds that, “When antioxidants are used in combination with sunscreen, they increase the protection against UV rays.”
One to try: Eraclea Multi-Action Reaffirming Face Serum ($90)
If your skin is on the dry side, exposing it to the sun will only dehydrate it further. “The sun dries out skin, which is why it’s always a good idea to apply moisturizers before going outside. It will keep skin hydrated and balanced,” says Dr. Bank. Pick one that’s compatible with your skin type, as well as an oil-free formula that also has SPF in it. “Try and find one with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in it, which are mineral sun-blocking ingredients,” suggests Dr. Saluja.
One to try: Olay Total Effects Featherweight Daily Moisturizer + SPF 15 ($20)
Your skin isn’t the only part of your body that requires sun protection. In fact, unbeknownst to many, your hair does, too. The sun can dry out your hair, leaving it hard to manage, dull, brittle and more prone to damage and breakage. As if that’s not enough, the sun can also oxidize your color, causing it to turn brassy. “Hair protectants shield your hair and scalp from the heat and sun. They also preserve your color and can defrizz your hair, too,” says Dr. Bank, who suggests applying one 30 minutes before going outdoors.
One to try: Kérastase Aqua-Seal ($42)
The lips are supersensitive to the sun. If you don’t protect them, you’re only increasing your risk of skin cancer, as well as wrinkles and damage. Dr. Bank says that there is also a condition called actinic cheilitis, which can develop from sun damage to the lips. “It causes lips to become inflamed and dry, leaving scaly lesions around the mouth.” You have to take the same precautions with your lips as you do with the rest of your body and your face and protect them with products like lip balms that have sunscreen in them.
One to try: Jane Iredale LipDrink Lip Balm ($15)
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