How to Achieve Sun-kissed Skin Safely this Summer
DestinationSkin’s Group Clinical Director, Dr Toni Philips, gives the g-lowdown on keeping your skin sun-safe
It might feel like we’ve been hibernating this winter, with lockdown and lousy weather, but as the sun starts to shine and freedom reigns, it’s important to remember to stay safe and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
So, whether you’re heading to the park to picnic with friends, BBQing in your garden or soaking up the sun on the beach, Dr Toni Philips, Group Clinical Director at DestinationSkin reveals how best to look after your skin this summer:
“We often think about avoiding the damaging effect of the sun in terms of visible skin issues such as pigmentation, premature ageing and wrinkles – all important to bear in mind if you want healthy, smooth and glowing skin.
However, we can’t forget that UV rays, especially UVB rays, can be very dangerous and have much more severe consequences. UVB rays cause short-wave radiation which can penetrate the superficial layers of the skin. This high intensity damage to the cell DNA which can lead to skin cancer.”
Dr Toni’s top tips to achieve sun-kissed safely this summer
First signs of damage: The key sign of UVB is sunburn, and it doesn’t have to be severe. The faintest pink colour seen after sun exposure indicates that UVB has been absorbed and caused trauma to the skin.
SPF is your skin’s saviour: You may be tempted by a low SPF sunscreen to ‘top up the tan’ but you need at least SPF 30+, though SPF50, such as Heliocare Advanced XF Gel SPF50, is ideal. What is most important is to make sure you are checking the sunscreen formulation to see how long it is meant to last and how often it suggests reapplying.
It’s not just UV rays to watch out for: Blue light emitted from the screens of our devices such as smart phones, has longer wavelengths and penetrates the skin deeper than UVA and UVB rays. Whilst this might not be as harmful it can damage collagen and elastin which support the skin. Enough, repeated exposure to blue light can also cause hyperpigmentation – an overproduction of brown pigments in the skin.
I’d always suggest using a sunscreen, such as Heliocare’s 360 Water Gel SPF50+, that not only covers UVA, UVB but also visible light and near infra-red filters for that extra protection.
Keep protected all day long: You may think that it’s just the hot summer days you need to worry about and if it doesn’t feel hot then you’re fine. However, UVA rays from the sun are present all year round and penetrate deep into the dermis causing sun damage associated with skin ageing.
Keep your skin clear: The hot summer days provide the perfect environment for bacteria or yeast to overgrow on our skin, causing red acne spots, clogged pores and a build-up of oils in your glands due to the combination of sweat, heat, sun cream and pollution. Make sure to cleanse your skin regularly to help avoid this, especially if you’re exercising in the heat. Using the right cleanser for your skin type will remove excess oil, gently exfoliate dead skin cells and debris, whilst leaving the skin barrier intact
Your sunscreen can help too: Try and make sure your SPF is non-comedogenic (does not block pores), like Heliocare’s oil-free dry touch gel SPF50, before you use it on your face as well as body, and you should never use SPF that’s out of date, as it will be ineffective and not protect you from sun damage.
Reapply and cover up: It is recommended you apply 1oz of SPF over your skin at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure – and remember to top up every 2-3 hours, especially if you’re likely to be in the water.
Don’t overdo it: I’d always advise to avoid direct sun exposure and spend time in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, between 11am and 3pm.
As well as SPF, the best protection is light clothing and a wide-brimmed hat for the face and scalp too. Take all of this into account and you can enjoy and make the most of the sun!
For more top tips on how to care for your skin, book a free consultation with one of our expert practitioners!