4 Ways to protect your skin & glow like J.Lo this summer

woman tanningSummer is in full swing and with it comes lots of time in the sun. No matter how amazing you look in your bikini or how fashionable your sunglasses are, the sun's harmful rays won't give you a pass. We all know Latinos come in a variety of beautiful skin complexions, but none are immune to sunburn, or a much more serious culprit skin cancer. In fact, a new study by the Skin Cancer Foundation found that melanoma diagnoses among Latinos have increased by almost 20 percent. Latina dermatologist Dr. Maria Patricia Rivas is giving us easy tips for protecting our skin and maintaining a healthy summer glow. 

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1. The SPF amount matters: SPF stands for sun protection factor, which measures the sunscreen's ability to prevent harmful UVB rays from damaging your skin. No sunscreen protects your skin 100 percent, but sun protection measures are important. It's important to know that there's a slight protective difference as the SPF amounts increase. As Dr. Rivas says, "An SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer than not wearing any sunscreen. In terms of percentages, SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays and SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent." If your skin is sensitive to light, you want to go with sunscreens that have the extra percentage of SPF. 

2. Make sure you apply correctly and reapply: Dr. Rivas advises her patients to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. "All sun-exposed areas should be covered, not only the face. It is very important to reapply every 2 hours, and after swimming," she notes. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied every 40 or 80 minutes. 

3. Stick to creams with anti-oxidants: If you want to maintain a natural glow, Dr. Rivas recommends using creams with skin-enriching nutrients. "Nowadays there's a wide variety of skin care products that may include hyaluronic acid, growth factors, retinoids, amongst others, that can help us maintain that youthful glow," she says. Your dermatologist could make recommendations based on your specific skin type. 

5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Most people are more dedicated to moisturizing their skin during the cold winter months, but you should keep up the same routine during the summer too--especially if you want healthy beautiful glowing skin. "Moisturizing your skin during the summer months is still important because dry skin doesn't tan evenly and then you can start noticing uneven skin tone," says Dr. Rivas. She recommends using a light-weight protective formula like Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15. "These are good choices during this time of the year," she adds. 

Image via Corbis

Topics: beauty  health  skin cancer  skin health  summer skin