DC-area dermatologists: It may take more than sunscreen to keep your skin healthy this summer

Summertime means spending more time outdoors enjoying the warm weather — but local doctors are warning not to forget about one big thing to help you enjoy the sunshine.

Dr. Randa Khoury, a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente in Virginia, says the best way to avoid skin cancer, burning and spots this summer is — you guessed it — sunscreen.

“The skin never forgets. It has a very long memory and loves to hold a grudge,” she told WTOP. “You should wear sunscreen every single day, even if you’re just working in an office with a window or driving in a car with a windshield.”

Khoury said UV rays can penetrate many surfaces and can even cause premature aging. If you don’t know where to begin, she recommends you “look for a mineral-based sunscreen that’s an SPF 50.”

But beyond the SPF, there’s another side to the story.

Khoury warns that attaining healthy, glowing skin isn’t as simple as just wearing sunscreen this summer, adding that sweating doesn’t mean your skin is actually hydrated.

“Paradoxically, because the UV rays of the sun are so strong, our skin tends to become dehydrated,” she explained.

She said sometimes sunscreen might not be enough, so moisturizer or facial lotion is key if you’ll be out in the elements.

“Balancing those two needs of the skin is one of the most important things we can teach our patients in the summertime,” she said.

She says combining your moisturizer with that mineral-based SPF 50 sunscreen is a recipe for living your best life.

“It is the first layer of defense against those damaging ultraviolet rays,” Khoury said.

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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