Chances are good that you already know how too much sun exposure can be highly damaging to your skin. This is because it accelerates premature aging while increasing the risk of skin cancer. But is sunscreen the best form of protection? Our Little Rock-based team recommends that patients wear sunscreen during all times of the year—even when it’s cloudy or they’re spending most of their time indoors. However, sunscreen does have its limits.

Sunscreens are ideal for preventing painful sunburns, spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and the breakdown of the skin’s collagen. Just like cleansers and moisturizers, sunscreen is an essential part of a good skin care routine. Sunscreens should be broad-spectrum, meaning that they provide protection against the most dangerous types of ultraviolet radiation, and have an SPF of at least 30.

With this in mind, you should also remember that there’s no type of sunscreen that blocks UV radiation 100 percent. In fact, studies show that sunscreens only block about 55 percent of the free radicals produced by UV rays. Furthermore, your sunscreen won’t provide enough protection if it’s expired, you don’t use enough of it, you miss certain areas on your body, or you don’t apply it frequently enough. Sunscreen also won’t provide unlimited protection against sun exposure.

Instead of solely relying on sunscreen, it should be part of a multifaceted plan to protect your skin against sun exposure. To get the best protection for your skin, you should combine sunscreen with these other measures:

One way of enhancing the effects of your sunscreen is by pairing it with an antioxidant. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that’s excellent for your skin. Sunscreen and vitamin C work in tandem to boost each other’s effectiveness. Vitamin C also helps to counteract the damage caused by ultraviolet light and unstable molecules called antioxidants. It brightens the skin while reducing fine lines and brown spots. Combining this ingredient with sunscreen will be more effective for sun protection than just using sunscreen on its own.

Furthermore, stay in the shade or under an umbrella if you can, and use physical barriers like hats, sun-protective clothing, and sunglasses.

Get more advice on sun protection from the team at Dermatology Group of Arkansas. Call us at 501-227-8422 or 1-800-225-8422 or submit a contact form online and schedule a consultation if you would like to discuss cosmetic treatments.