All of us remember our summers at the beach playing in the sand with mother and dad smearing sunscreen over sandy ankles that felt like sandpaper. We balked and ran back into the ocean where the lotion would frequently wash off or wear off leaving us with a pink nose and red ears. When you are young and plan to be young forever the consequence of too much sun is of no consequence. Not until we reach our 30’s and for some of us our 20’s do the results of habitual exposure to the sun come back to haunt us.

As healthy and vibrant as the sun makes us look it has a long reaching effect. The elastic fibers in our skin which are numerous in children begin to disappear with age and with more sun exposure. This results in less elastic older looking skin that ages us before our time. Patients who have facelifts, blepharoplasty and even liposuction are more likely to have had multiple trips to the beach without proper sunscreen.

Moderation is the key. A good recipe is a morning dose of sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher followed by reapplication approximately every 2 hours or more if you get in the water. That is generally enough protection to save that skin elasticity and keep a youthful glow without damage.