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Learn how to properly protect your skin from melanoma while out in the sun this summer.
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Learn how to properly protect your skin from melanoma while out in the sun this summer.

Health, Business, Santa Monica

Sun Protection 101: What You Need To Know This Summer

Posted Jul. 17, 2014, 12:24 pm

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By Lisa Watts - KO'AN Center Executive Director

The most common problem we see at the KO’AN Center is pigmentation and deep wrinkles caused by sun exposure. When we see pigmentation, we fear underlining issues of melanoma.

We educate all of our patients about the importance of sun protection and the correct way to use sunscreens.

Living in Southern California, it is next to impossible to stay out of the sun. How should you properly protect your skin from sun damage? Sunscreens, hats, and proper clothing are the answer.

Most people think that wearing white reflects the damaging UV rays when in fact white reflects heat and you still can get red or burned with some materials no matter what color.

Is it okay to be in the sun for short periods of time without sunscreen or some kind of protection? It is never okay to be in the sun without protection. Even after 15 minutes of direct sun exposure we can track UV damage to the exposed cells.

With advanced medical imaging devices you can see how quickly sun damage occurs in the skin. Is sunscreen enough? Sunscreen could be enough if you're not in the direct sun, but the problem with sunscreen is most consumers do not know how to apply them properly. Most clinicians recommend SPF 30 or more.

We at the KO'AN Center recommend a broad spectrum SPF 40 or higher. Why 40 or higher? Consumers don't realize that sunscreens lose its efficacy through the day.

Patients touch their skin, slide their clothes over their head, put makeup on, sweat or rub their eyes. Sunscreens need to be reapplied.

Most women who wear make up will tell you that the makeup gets rubbed off during the day and often need to reapply or "freshen up". That goes for your daily sunscreen.

Driving wreaks havoc on the left side of the face. My best recommendations are sunscreen, good skincare, a wide brimmed hat and large sunglasses if your planning to be outside in direct sun for more then 15 minutes.

We have vested our sunscreens at the center and found a few types that work amazingly well. Some of the most popular brands are Revision Intellishade SPF 45. This product has an anti-aging property with a pigment that matches your skin tone. Great as a moisturizer and skin protection. Very popular with young women as a tinted moisturizer.

ELTA MD Broad-Spectrum SPF 45+ sunscreens protect fr0m UVA and UVB rays. This line has chemical free sunscreens with a transparent zinc oxide formula. They even have one for sensitive skin and are water resistant.

These sunscreens do not feel heavy on the skin and are not irritating to the eyes.

Dr. Kao and Dr. Hayden created their own sunscreen that provides a broad spectrum SPF 50+.

KO'AN sunscreen includes anti-aging properties like COQ10, Vitamin C and green tea with the clear zinc oxide. When your on the go, we recommend Colorscience Mineral Sunscreen. This product is great to keep with you for a touch up to skin when you're feeling the sun bearing down on you, especially driving.

If you're interested in anti-aging, KO'AN sunscreen is the best place to start.

Ko-An Santa Monica is located at 1301 20th Street, Suite 150A, Santa Monica, CA 90404. For more information, call 310.315.3022 or visit

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