A derm’s top tips for stopping sun damage

With just a few more weeks of summer, we’re all trying to pack as much fun in the sun in as possible—which is likely to lead to some overexposure. Sure, we’re all about starting a freckle-fading regimen come fall, but dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD (and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top Dermatologist) gave us a few tips for keeping long-term damage to a minimum.

Suncreen: Do we really need to tell you to slather on the SPF before heading outside? Apparently, yes. But Dr. Jaliman suggests looking at sunscreen as a habit that’s just as important as brushing your teeth in the morning. She also says that “broad spectrum” are the two most important words to look for on the bottle. And lastly, don’t forget to reapply every two hours, or your efforts may be for naught.

Sunburn remedies: Let’s face it, sometimes we miss a spot when applying sunscreen. To soothe red skin, Dr. Jaliman recommends a cool compress of half skim milk and half water, because the milk’s lactic acid is a great anti-inflammatory. Other options include aloe vera gel, hydrocortisone cream or a iced green tea compress—so use whatever you have on hand to calm your skin.

Skincare solutions: There are countless damage-reversing products available, but Dr. Jaliman recommends Neova DNA Total Repair because it contains plankton extract, which is rich in an enzyme that helps with DNA repair (and DNA damage is what leads to visible lines, discoloration and skin cancer).