If you have to embark on an 11- mile jungle trek in the dead of summer, it’s handy to have a nurse along. That’s what Margaret Bobonich’s teammates discovered during 2005’s Survivor: Guatemala season, which found the dermatology nurse practitioner tending to dehydration, torn muscles and a poisonous barbed plant injury after her team won the grueling first challenge.
Ousted halfway through her season, Bobonich returns to Guatemala annually with nonprofit Refuge International and practices full-time at Cleveland’s University Hospital, Case Medical Center.
You may not (hopefully) be lost in the wild this summer, but you should still protect your skin with Bobonich’s tips.
• Do wear a hat and SPF 30 outdoors, and reapply every two hours.
• Don’t spend more than four hours in direct sun, even if you’re protected. Break it up with some shade time. “The sun plays a big part in breaking down skin so that you get more wrinkles and dark spots,” Bobonich says.
• Do wash up immediately after you’re exposed to poison ivy. “The oil stays on our skin and causes irritation as long as it’s there,” Bobonich says.
• Don’t use soap—especially the antibacterial kind—on your face and body. Opt for a gentle cleanser.
• Do take cooler, shorter showers to help keep skin hydrated.
• Do use petroleum jelly for wound and burn care. “Hydrated wounds heal faster and better, and the jelly also prevents scarring,” she says. It’s also a great, non-allergenic moisturizer.