These days, people are more likely to use sunscreen than they were 30 years ago—but still, says Lane Smith, MD, board- certified plastic surgeon at Smith Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, most people don’t apply enough or they are vying for that golden glow. “The biggest issue regarding sunscreen use with my patients is not applying enough or often enough, and some still like to tan, and that is a problem,” says Smith, who recommends a minimum of broad-spectrum and water-resistant SPF 30 every two hours.
And this also goes for days when the sun is tucked behind clouds. “When there is cloud cover or when you’re using a sun shade, there is a possibility of certain UV rays coming through,” says H.L. Greenberg, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Las Vegas Dermatology. Adds Smith, “Remember, just driving to and from work bathes the skin in harmful UVA radiation.”
But this is by no means a call to stay indoors. “Even if patients were sun worshippers in their youth, regular sunscreen use at any age can help reverse some of the signs of skin aging. It is never too late to start a good sunscreen regimen,” Smith says. And with so many options, it’s never been easier— or looked better—to practice safe sun.