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Make Your Sunscreen Work Harder

During the dog days of summer, sunscreen can only do so much. But if you get crafty with your skincare, you can give your SPF a much-needed, youth-protecting boost.

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Make Your Sunscreen Work Harder

By now, we all know that sunscreen helps prevent those pesky signs of aging like wrinkles and sun spots, while also guarding against the most common form of cancer today, skin cancer.

In a 2013 study, researchers confirmed that sun-induced aging was significantly thwarted with sunscreen use, but with one catch: It has to be worn daily to truly make a difference.

And while we’re certainly joining you in slathering on the sunscreen from here on out with diligence, dermatologists caution that even lotion doesn’t offer complete protection. “No sunscreen can prevent every bit of UV light from impacting your skin, so this is why antioxidants are so helpful as a second line of defense—they counteract the free radicals generated by UV light and help spare your skin from damage,” explains Baltimore, Md. dermatologist, Noelle S. Sherber, M.D.

QUIZ: Are You At Risk For Skin Cancer?

The newest beauty products on shelves aim to up your protection to help your sunscreen work better with the use of ingredients like antioxidants and reflective filters. Just remember that these products are not a substitute for sunscreen, but are rather fortifiers. “By layering antioxidant product underneath sunscreen, or by applying it at bedtime before and after sun exposure, you can reap all the benefits of sun protection without incurring unwanted free radical damage,” says Sherber.

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