We’ve all been there: After a day at the beach or on the trails, you look in the mirror and, oops, you’re sunburned. The tender, red skin symptoms are temporary, but just one bad sunburn can double your risk of melanoma—the most dangerous type of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Although skin cancer is more common in light-skinned people, more than 2 million Americans of all complexions were diagnosed in 2012, making skin cancer the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, when caught early, it has a high survival rate. Follow these steps to reduce your risk for years to come.

Also check out our 14 top sun protection picks. 

3 tips from a dermatologist

Ritu Saini, MD, Skin Cancer Foundation, New York

  • Practice protection. Shielding your skin against the sun drastically reduces skin cancer risk. When outside, wear a loose, long-sleeve shirt, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Slather on a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and seek shade when the sun is at its strongest—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • Nix tanning. There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Indoor tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation the same way the sun does, using both UVA and UVB rays. Cumulative tanning damage can lead to premature wrinkles and brown spots, and just one indoor tanning session increases melanoma risk by 20 percent.

  • Schedule a yearly exam. Promptly diagnosed and treated skin cancers are almost always curable: For people whose melanoma is detected before spreading to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. Sometimes skin cancer occurs on rarely exposed areas, such as the soles of your feet and mucous membranes in the nose or mouth, so schedule an annual professional skin exam with a physician.

3 tips from an integrative oncologist

Joe Brown, ND, doctorjoebrown.com, Tempe, Arizona

  • Take vitamin D. If skin cancer runs in your family, you likely avoid direct sun exposure for prolonged periods—a good move. But you risk vitamin D deficiency, which increases your cancer risk and impairs immunity. Get your vitamin D levels checked by a physician, and consider supplementing with 1,000 to 5,000 IU vitamin D daily.

  • Self check. Perform a monthly self-assessment to monitor brown spots or moles. Use the A.B.C.D.E. acronym: If a mole is asymmetrical, has a jagged border, contains multiple colors or color changes, or increases in diameter or elevation, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Take a monthly photo of suspicious-looking moles to make it easier to tell if they’re changing—and to show your dermatologist.

  • Eat antioxidants. Fill your diet with foods rich in beta-carotene antioxidants, nutrients found in fruits and vegetables like blackberries, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and bell peppers, as well as deep green spinach, broccoli, and kale. Your body converts beta-carotene into cancer-fighting vitamin A, which protects you at a cellular level.

3 tips from a naturopathic doctor

Leah Sherman, ND, Portland, Oregon

  • Use natural sunscreen. Avoiding sunburn by using sunscreen every day is skin cancer prevention 101. But many products contain oxybenzone, a synthetic chemical linked to hormone disruption and allergies. Look for sunscreens that use physical sun blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

  • Reduce inflammation. Sometimes inflammation is good—if you get a cut or scrape, swelling moves blood to the area, repairing damaged tissue. But chronic inflammation can impair your immune system and create a cancer-promoting environment. One way to reduce inflammation is moderate exercise. Get 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic and weight-bearing exercises five days per week.

  • Don’t obsess. Any cancer diagnosis can be traumatic. If you’ve had skin cancer in the past, create a comprehensive, long-term prevention plan with your dermatologist. But don’t let skin cancer consume your life—dwelling on it will only cause more stress.