Protecting Your Skin: Common Mistakes and Expert Advice

22 December 2023

Dermatologists highlight the importance of sun protection and skincare routines to prevent skin cancer and aging.

Every day, many of us unknowingly put ourselves at risk of developing one of the most common forms of cancer: skin cancer. Despite knowing the potential harm, we often make mistakes when it comes to protecting our skin. Dermatologists emphasize the significance of sun protection and skincare routines to prevent skin cancer and slow down the aging process. In this article, we will explore these common mistakes and seek expert advice on how to rectify them.

Ignoring the Sun’s Threat

The biggest mistake we make is underestimating the threat posed by the sun. While it brightens our day, prolonged exposure can be lethal. Dermatologists recommend avoiding the sun whenever possible to prevent premature aging and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Inadequate Sunscreen Application

Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal from the Cleveland Clinic highlights the importance of proper sunscreen application. Many of us fail to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, leaving our skin vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Dr. Khetarpal advises applying sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 every morning and reapplying it every two hours. To make reapplication easier, she suggests using brush-on sunscreen, which can be conveniently carried in a purse or car.

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Sun Protection Beyond the Seasons

Contrary to popular belief, sun protection is not limited to sunny days. Even on cloudy days, we are exposed to harmful sun rays. Dr. Khetarpal explains that visible light rays from sources such as driving and electronic devices can still affect our skin. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize sun protection regardless of the weather conditions.

Skincare Routines for Anti-Aging

Dr. Khetarpal emphasizes the importance of incorporating retinoids and topical antioxidants into our skincare routines to combat aging. Collagen, responsible for youthful and elastic skin, diminishes by approximately 1% each year starting in our 20s. To stimulate collagen production, Dr. Khetarpal recommends using retinoids. However, she notes that many individuals forget to apply a topical antioxidant before using retinoids.

The Power of Topical Antioxidants

Topical antioxidants not only reverse signs of aging but also offer protection against environmental elements. Additionally, they have shown promise in treating pigmentary disorders. Dr. Khetarpal advises consumers not to overspend on skincare products, as many affordable generic options are effective. When choosing products, look for ingredients such as Vitamin C or ferulic acid for antioxidants and retanol, retanolic acid, or adapalene for retinoids.


Protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays and incorporating effective skincare routines are essential for maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin. By avoiding common mistakes such as inadequate sunscreen application and neglecting the use of retinoids and topical antioxidants, we can reduce the risk of skin cancer and slow down the aging process. Let us prioritize our skin’s health and take the necessary steps to protect and care for it.

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