Dr. Oz’s best ways to protect your skin from the sun this summer

Our on-call medical expert Dr. Oz shares his favourite tips to outsmart the sun.

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Photo, Getty Images.

Summer is one of my favourite times of year! But it’s also the season that concerns me the most, because sun exposure can wreak havoc on your skin — and your health. You may not realize it, but those first few warm, bright days are particularly brutal. The intense rays often take us by surprise, we forget to put on sunblock, and now you’ve got it — a nasty sunburn. That’s why I’m sharing my top skin-saving tips with you now. So instead of sitting inside nursing a painful sunburn you can get outside and enjoy!

1. Switch up your moisturizer
If you’re like most people, you probably use the same moisturizer whether it’s snowing or stifling outside. Don’t fall into this trap! Opt for a lighter moisturizer — ideally one that contains SPF — during the summer to prevent breakouts and leave your skin feeling less oily. For those who suffer from eczema, this is especially important since you may be prone to heat-induced flare-ups.

2. Make smart sunscreen choices
Even if your moisturizer contains SPF, follow it with an oil-free broad-spectrum SPF 30 to prevent clogged pores and ensure the best protection. And don’t forget that not all sunscreens are created equal. My favourite block is zinc oxide; the second best is titanium dioxide. Why? Because neither one is absorbed by the body.

3. Eat more red, yellow and orange fruits and veggies
Lycopene is an antioxidant found in these brightly coloured foods, and it acts as a natural sunscreen for your skin. Research shows that eating lycopene-rich foods, like tomatoes, can actually help protect against sunburn. Beta carotene is what gives orange foods their colour, and it has been shown to help protect cells against sun damage. So in addition to wearing sunscreen, be sure to include these delicious summer foods at your next backyard barbecue. When you consume more antioxidants, your body is also better prepared to fight the oxidative cell damage that can lead to disease.

4. Enjoy sunshine in small doses
Fortunately, the sun isn’t all bad. And while some experts disagree, I believe a few minutes outside without sunscreen is one of the best ways to naturally boost your vitamin D levels and your mood. Just don’t go overboard! Think 15 minutes (tops) in the morning or late afternoon. And always wear sunscreen in the middle of the day, when the sun is strongest.

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Dr. Oz is a renowned heart specialist, North America’s favourite health guru, and the five-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show, which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. CT on CTV and the CTV GO app (check local listings).