This summer has been particularly brutal, and we know you want to keep your fresh, glowing skin, despite the harshest of sun rays. DC Derm Docs is giving you the skinny on sunscreen, so your skin looks as great as the time you’re having.

This Fourth of July, “apply a small dab of sunscreen before you the start day as an easy measure to prevent an array of skin issues like premature aging, wrinkles, skin and melanoma. Prevention is much better than treatment,” remarks Dr. Dale Isaacson.

Choosing the best sunscreen starts with the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). A sunscreen with an SPF 45 is adequate. Any products that advertise anything above SPF 45 is unnecessary. “A lot of marketing tries to trick you into buying sunscreens with SPF 70+, but the truth is SPF 45 blocks 97% of UV-B rays and that’s about as good as it gets,” says Dr. Marilyn Berzin.

Be generous with your sunscreen and apply frequently. Applying a layer before heading out guards your precious skin from the harmful effects of UV-A and UV-B rays. Sunlight, regardless of its intensity, introduces greater levels of free radicals, which expedite the aging process. Even when you’re not lounging by the pool or relaxing on the beach, your skin is constantly under attack of harmful ultraviolet rays.

Your wardrobe also doubles as sunscreen. Sunglasses, caftans, cover-ups, wide-brimmed hats are fabulous ways to protect the skin from UV-A and UV-B rays. Incorporating these items into your summer look is a great way to look good while doing good for your skin.

As our last tip, we know you’re going to celebrate July 4th weekend with a bang. You might want to pass on that last drink. Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption increases risk of melanoma by 20%.