It’s safe to say we have a special affinity with the classic British summer. As soon as the sun shines (or tries to peep behind the clouds, we’re in the UK, let’s be real), we head to the seaside, light our barbeques and gather in pub gardens to soak up the rays.
It’s a rite of passage that signifies summer is well and truly here.
We all know SPF is essential in protecting us against UV damage and premature ageing, but what are the common mistakes we make that compromise our skin’s protection against the sun?
Dr Toni Philips, one of our Group Clinical Directors here at Destination Skin, reveals how best to look after your skin this summer.
Get to know your SPF
SPF 50 will protect your skin just as well as SPF 100, so you’re best off keeping it simple. An SPF50 is ideal, but an SPF 30+ will also do a good job.
Don’t forget about blue light
The sun emits blue light which has longer wavelengths and penetrates deeper than UVA and UVB rays. This means that it can damage collagen and elastin which support the skin. Blue light from the sun can also cause hyperpigmentation – an over production of brown pigments in the skin. Look out for a sunscreen that contains both UVA, UVB, visible light and near infra-red filters which provide extra protection.
When we say SPF is important all day long, we really mean it
UVA rays from the sun, which have longer wavelengths, are present all year round whereas UVB rays, with shorter wavelengths, are the strongest in summer. It is advised to avoid direct sun exposure, spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm and wear protective clothing, including a big sunhat!
Always check the bottle
Try and make sure your SPF is non-comodogenic (does not block pores) before you use it on your face as well as your body, and you should never use SPF that’s out of date, as it will be ineffective and not protect you from sun damage.
Avoid the ‘perfect storm’ of clogged pores and red spots
The combination of sweat, heat, sun cream and pollution that our complexion faces in the summer is a perfect environment for bacteria or yeast to overgrow on our skin. Regular cleansing, especially if you’re exercising in the heat, can help avoid this. The right cleanser for your skin type will remove excess oil, gently exfoliate dead skin cells and debris, whilst leaving the skin barrier intact and will not interfere with the hydration levels.
If you’re actively sunbathing, remember this
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 like being in the water.
Don’t forget to incorporate Vitamin C into your skin routine
I usually recommend everyone (all ages) to use an antioxidant (Vitamin C) into your morning skincare routine after cleansing. This is even more important in summer as antioxidants are skin protectors and also act as a mild SPF. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is one of our faves along with Obagi Pro C Serum.
One of our most popular products is the Heliocare 360 Mineral Tolerance SPF 50. This fast absorbing fluid leaves the skin feeling beautifully soft whilst protecting it at the same time, it’s not only suitable for all skin types but also waterproof and doesn’t leave any white residue on the face. In addition to this, this product also provides unrivalled protection against UVA, UVB, visible light and infrared-A with a combination of broad-spectrum sun protection filters that work at the surface of the skin, and anti-oxidants that work within it to help stop the production of free radicals.