Benefits of the Sun
For most of us, summer means sunshine. This is the season where we spend the most time outdoors, usually with more skin on display. Being outside like this is a great mood-booster. Exposure to sunlight increases our levels of serotonin – the hormone responsible for feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Sunlight is also our main source of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
Sun Damage Risks
However, there is a downside. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can damage the DNA in your skin cells, and cause skin cancer. Over exposure to the sun is also the main cause of premature ageing. So it’s vital that you protect your skin from sun damage every day – but especially in the summer, when exposure levels tend to be higher. Read on to discover our top five tips for safer sun.
We should all be wearing sunscreen every day, not just in the summer. Skin damage doesn’t only happen on holiday, or when you’re sitting out in the garden. Even in the UK, the sun is strong enough to cause damage on cloudy days (UV rays can penetrate glass, too).
Which Sunscreen should you use?
Dermatologists recommend using an SPF30, and make sure you choose a formula with a 4- or 5-star rating.
How much Sunscreen should you use?
Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen. If it’s applied too thinly, its protection is diminished, so be generous! Use at least 2 teaspoons for your head, lower arms and neck. Think 2 tablespoons for the rest your body. And remember to reapply your sunscreen regularly.
SEEK OUT THE SHADE
Spending time in the shade – especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest – allows you to enjoy being outside, while still protecting your skin. However, you can still get sunburn in the shade – from UV light reflecting – so you’ll still need to wear sunscreen in the shade.
COVER UP WITH SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
The right clothes are another way to protect your skin in the summer. Loose, dark coloured garments are the best choice, and fabrics with a close weave will offer the most protection. A wide-brimmed hat will protect your face, hair and scalp. Finish your look with a pair of good quality sunglasses, to protect your eyes, and the skin around them. Choose styles with a CE, UV 400 or British Standard Mark.
MAKE SURE YOU MOISTURISE
Warmer weather, and an increase in sun exposure, can affect your skin in different ways. Some types feel oilier, some become drier, while others can become sensitised or irritated. In all cases, it’s important to keep skin hydrated and moisturised. This not only keeps it comfortable, it also helps to strengthen the skin barrier, which in turn protects against pollution, UV light and harmful microorganisms. Shop moisturisers from top brands – to find the perfect on for you speak to one of our experts.
ADAPT YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE TO SUMMER
We wouldn’t dream of wearing the same clothes in the summer as we do throughout the winter. So make sure you update your skincare routine when the seasons change too. Exactly what you change depends on your skin’s individual needs. Lighter lotion formulations and specialist anti-pigment products may be worth considering, while nourishing masks are a good option for dehydrated skin. If your skin is compromised, steer clear of harsh exfoliants and peels. And if you don’t already use them, introduce some high-grade antioxidant products, for extra skin protection.