With winter finally at bay and summer just around the corner, it’s never been more important to ensure your skin is adequately protected against the harmful rays of the sun. Whether you’re planning on heading off to tropical climes or enjoying the Great British summer at home, it’s essential that you safeguard against the risk of burning, ageing, peeling and, ultimately, skin cancer.
These top tips should ensure you soak up some rays and get your full supplement of vitamin D, without jeopardising your health in the short and long term.
Baz Luhrmann might have said it best when he told us to wear sunscreen in 1999, but even though it might seem overly obvious, many Britons still don’t bother with the stuff before venturing out into the sun. Even in the UK, where the sun’s rays might be weaker than other countries, it’s vital that you wear appropriate protection to avoid burning. Choose a reputable brand like Heliocare and apply regular coats to your skin throughout the day.
Watch the clock
In Britain, the sun is at its highest (and hottest) between the hours of 11am and 3pm in the summer months. That time period might differ depending on which country or continent you’re in, but make sure you know the danger times and plan to avoid exposure during those hours. The shade afforded by a parasol is ideal for still enjoying the heat without any of the risks to your skin.
The best way to avoid burning your skin is to cover up! Wide-brimmed sunhats are ideal for keeping your head away from the harmful rays of the sun, which can burn or cause sunstroke if exposed for too long. Loose, light clothing which covers your arms and legs is also recommended for minimising exposure, while sunglasses are an absolute must if you plan to spend an extended period outside.
Reassess your skincare approach
With the wonders of modern science and advances in healthcare, there are a range of skincare products on the market that can revitalise your skin and protect it against the elements. Obagi and ZO have a wide range of creams and agents clinically proven to reduce the effects of skin damage and leave your skin rejuvenated and resplendent. For best results, it’s advisable to arrange a 15-minute suitability consultation with a skincare professional to choose the product that’s right for you.
Home face packs
While professional care is the best course of action for preventing skin damage from the rays of the sun or combating its effects once it has occurred, there are several DIY strategies you can try yourself. Face packs made of cucumber, mint or even potato can do wonders to take the sting out of a burn and soothe painful skin, while a deep scrub (as long as it’s not too painful!) can remove dead cells, sunspots and tanned patches and allow softer skin to come to the surface.
A more comprehensive solution to sunspots, wrinkles and other sun-damaged blemishes is a chemical peel. This non-invasive procedure takes under an hour and over several sessions, you will see marvellous results as your skin returns to its radiant best. As well as improving pore size and tackling blemishes, creases and pigment disorders, it can also boost cell growth and stimulate the production of collagen in your skin.
If you’re worried about the sun’s long term effects on your skin, take daily precautions and stay out of the sun where possible.