Renowned Dermatologist Shares His TipsBy Abby Gardner
Like all of you, and perhaps even more so by nature of my job, I'm constantly bombarded with information about the sun and how to best protect myself from it.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with renowned Los Angeles dermatologist and Professor of Dermatology and Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Arnold Klein about this topic. He's extremely passionate about wanting Americans to be properly informed about everything from sunscreen to the latest hot health topic, vitamin D deficiency.
Here are some of the key things I learned from the good doctor.
We need more vitamin D. And even more specifically vitamin D3, according to Dr. Klein, which is good for your bones and teeth and also helps prevent illnesses often caused by a poor immune system. It's also necessary for the stomach to absorb calcium; hence, if you're vitamin D deficient, it could lead to osteoporosis. This topic has been getting more press as of late and recently Gwyneth Paltrow took to her GOOP newsletter to talk about her own vitamin D issues.
Get some sun exposure. Dr. Klein believes that you need to get about 10-15 minutes of non-protected sun exposure to your arms and legs each day to help combat the lack of vitamin D in our diets. "Everyone used to drink milk, but that doesn't happen anymore," he says. But he insists you must be sensible: "This is not about putting your kid out on the beach with no sunscreen on."
Sunscreen labeling is not yet regulated. But the FDA is working on it. Dr. Klein is frustrated that it hasn't happened yet and that this can lead to confusion among consumers about what they should be using in order to get broad spectrum protection — that means protection from both the more deeply damaging UVA rays and those that cause the outward burn, UVB rays. Dr. Klein recommends ones from Neutrogena that contain Helioplex technology and also Roche-Posay Anthelios, which contains Mexoryl.
Apply more sunscreen, more often. Dr. Klein says you need to use the equivalent of a shot glass full of sunscreen and re-apply every two hours. There is no such thing as all-day protection.
Dr. Arnold Klein shares his tips for taking care of yourself in the sun.Thinkstock