The sun can be the most beautiful part of summer with the long nights, constant floods of light and gorgeous UV rays. However, it can also be the most dangerous part, especially when it comes to looking after your skin. This blog will talk you through the key ways to make sure you look after yourself, and your skin, this summer!
With the British Summer well underway and with so many of us preparing to jet off on holiday to faraway exotic countries, there is one really important question to ask – how are you going to look after your skin in the sun?
First things first, it is important to understand the consequences of sun damage and how it can affect our skin it if isn’t properly prevented. The sun affects our skin in a variety of ways, and although our skin needs Vitamin D to develop and repair skin cells, if it is exposed to too much sun or is not protected properly, our skin can suffer sun damage.
Sun damage can affect our skin in the following ways.
Wrinkles – Although there are certain treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections and dermal facial fillers that can improve the appearance of wrinkles, we believe it is much better to avoid unnecessary aging of the skin where you can. If the skin is exposed to harmful rays and isn’t properly protected, then over the years, the inner layers of the skin start to thicken and lose their ability to retain moisture. This is why the skin begins to sag and fold in on itself, creating wrinkles.
Discolouration and Sun Spots – We all love a perfect tan and it is easy to see why a natural, sun-kissed glow is very desirable. However, there are some types of colour change that are caused by sun damage and are a little less desirable than a lovely tan. Discolouration and sun spots occur when our tanning cells suffer from too much over-activity for a long period of time. It is then that lesions grow on the skin (looking like either brown freckles or red scales) and these can cause problems such as itching or stinging in that area.
Skin Cancer – A terrifying word and one that we, unfortunately, cannot avoid when talking about sun damage. Skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to the sun. This could be over a long period of time, or alternatively, in short, sharp bursts, when the skin may have been burnt. The ultraviolet light that comes from sun exposure directly damages the DNA in the skin. There are several stages and types of skin cancer, so it is important that you are aware of these types and the symptoms that accompany them. Our rule of thumb is that if you notice anything different or any changes with your skin, visit your GP immediately. For more information, help or advice, visit Cancer Research UK.
How can I avoid sun damage?
So now we have introduced you to the effects of sun damage, it is now time to go through our top tips for skin safety in the sun! In fact, these steps are so simple that you won’t need to make much of a change to your lifestyle in order to stay fully protected.
- Always remember to apply (and re-apply) suncream when going out in the sun
It may sound obvious but you should ALWAYS wear suncream when out and about in the sunshine. However, what is important is to remember to re-apply the suncream. Many think that because they applied suncream in the morning, this will last all day. Although there are some ‘all-day’ suncreams out there, we always recommend applying suncream liberally and as detailed in the manufacturers instructions. We also always advise that you opt to wear Factor 50+, or as high a factor as you feel comfortable. We highly recommend Heliocare F50, which you can order from our website!
- Make sure that you limit the time that you’re out in the sun
A quick and easy way of saving your skin some trouble is to regulate the amount of time that you spend in the sun. The sun is strongest between the hours of 11am-3pm so we would always recommend you try and stay indoors or in the shade for as long as possible during these times. A surefire way to work out if you should be spending some time in the shade is to look at your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you, then this signalises that the suns beams are at their most powerful.
- Make sure to wear a sun hat at all times
When it comes to protecting the face and neck, a sun hat is one of the best items that you can invest in. This is because it stops the glare of the sun from reaching your eyes, face, ears, neck and scalp. When it comes to selecting a hat for this purpose then make sure that it has a wide brim. A baseball cap, whilst offers protection to the eyes and scalp, doesn’t offer full protection to the face or neck, therefore, the wider the brim, the better the protection!
If you have any other tips on how to best prevent sun damage, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Evolve Medical UK – Love the skin you’re in <3
For information about the types of services we offer or to make a booking, please call us on: 01132 576701
Have you suffered from any of the above skin conditions?
Have you packed all of the above sun protection?
Do you have any other tips and products to add that you find helps protect you against the sun?