It’s that time of year when it feels like literally everyone is on holiday! If you’re not one of the lucky ones heading off on a plane, don’t think you’re missing the sun. We’ve got hot weather forecast until October now! How can you make sure you’re protecting your skin from sun damage? Here are our ten top tips to help you make the most of the good weather without risking the health of your skin.
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT VITAMIN A
Not many people know it, but vitamin A deficiency is the top cause of sun damage to ageing skin. It’s destroyed by the sun, so you should look for a moisturiser (along with your sunscreen) that is rich in vitamin A which will help restore your skin. Vitamin A doesn’t block vitamin D absorption in the way that conventional sunscreens do: so, it’s a great boost to your health too.
2. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens
UVB is what causes sunburn. However, you also need UVA protection to avoid the risk of cancer-causing sun damage. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to give protection in the UVA range as well. An SPF rating does not measure Ultraviolet A (UVA) protection.
3. Use a shot-glass amount every two hours and at least SPF 30
Apply the equivalent to a shot-glass of SPF30 sunscreen every 1.5 hours. Anything less frequent won’t give you enough protection. In the heat, get the sunscreen on as soon as you’re out of the shower and then get dressed. It will make sure you cover evenly, and give you the twenty minutes you need for the protection to activate before you get out in the sun. And make sure you don’t use any of last year’s suncream: the ingredients go off after a year.
4. Use specialised sunscreen for your face
The problem with many suncreams is the amount of chemicals that they contain, which is not great for sensitive skin. We are big fans of the Environ RAD, which is only SPF15 (because of low chemical content), but offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and B and it contains titanium dioxide. This is a minerals-based sunscreen which acts like a crushed mirror on the skin reflecting the sun rays away from the body.
5. Use multi-tasking make-up to help protect your skin
Invest in good quality make-up incorporating effective, chemical-free mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen which blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. Try Jane Iredale’s range of foundations such as the Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation, BB Cream or Tinted Moisturiser and Powder Me SPF Dry Sunscreen to protect your skin while enhancing your natural beauty. Every time you refresh your make-up throughout the day you are automatically re-applying your sunscreen at the same time!
6. Take supplements to add extra protection
Alongside sunscreen, those with particularly sensitive skin will benefit from fern extract in supplement form (called polypodium leucotomos) to help stop burning and decrease redness.
7. Invest in large sunglasses
A large pair of sunglasses will protect your delicate eye area from sun damage. Avoid mirrored lenses – they reflect the sun onto your cheeks.
8. Invest in tan-prolonging cream
Your beautifully-protected skin has earned a glow you’ll want to last as long as possible! There are plenty of affordable options for a post-holiday skin treat.
9. USE BABY SUNSCREEN
Babies need cream that blocks the sun’s rays completely. If you have melasma patches, or are concerned about wrinkles around the eyes, invest in a baby sunscreen that contains zinc.
10. PLAY IT SAFE: SPRAY TAN! Play it safe: spray tan!
You’d be right to be alarmed by the potential risks outlined in some of the above tips. The other option for your best skin is to use tonnes of moisturiser and exfoliate, then get yourself a beautiful spray tan!
Whatever your skincare routine, never forget your sun protection. That friend you have from school that looks so young? She’s using sunblock on her face, guaranteed. It’s too late to turn back the clock, and we all did silly things as teenagers: sunbeds; tanning oils; forgetting sun protection; the list goes on. But we can make the very best effort to protect from further damage. Start with using a daily broad-based sunscreen for your face and remember to look for Vitamin A on the list of ingredients. Pop that sun cream on before you get dressed and always, always have a little bottle in every bag!