While soaking up a little Vitamin D might have its benefits, the harsh rays of the sun can pose a danger. From premature ageing to sun spots, through to the serious danger of skin-cancer, protecting your skin when you’re out and about is key. But while we all know daily SPF use is sensible, what do we really know about sun protection?
When you’re choosing a sunscreen, read the labels carefully and be sure to find a product which promises broad spectrum protection. While we’re well trained to seek out a protectant with a high SPF, many of us fail to realise that rating applies only to UVB protection, while a broad specrtum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA penetrates into the lower dermis of the skin, causes most of the ageing affects seen from sun damage and is a consistent threat throughout the year, while UVB levels differ between summer and winter months, so protecting your skin from both is imperative. Always apply sun cream 30 minutes prior to exposure to ensure absorption, and remember to reapply regularly, as swimming or outdoor exercise will reduce the effectiveness of your protection.
In addition to your product regime, antioxidants play a significant role in the protection and repair of the skin, helping to reverse some of the damage caused by sunlight, including discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles. Unlike sunscreens and SPF moisturisers, antioxidants protect the skin from the inside, guarding your cells from external aggressors including the sun. Natural antioxidants, which carry the added benefit of slowing down the skin ageing process, can be found in raspberries, blueberries, red kidney beans, soy and green tea, so go gourmet and protect yourself from the inside out.
Feed Your Skin
Vitamins A, C and E are also crucial in boosting the natural self protection of the skin and can be found in foods such as sweet potato, dark leafy greens, paprika, almonds and oranges. Combining these enriched foods with a good SPF sunscreen takes you one step closer to helping your skin rejuvenate, protecting against carcinogens and long term damage.
Care and Repair
Caring for your skin after sun exposure is as important as protecting it beforehand, not least as overexposure causes water to evaporate from the skin, leaving it dry and dehydrated. With the use of emollients, you can boost your skin’s ability to retain its natural moisture, replacing lost fluids to ensure the complexion regains a soft and supple appearance. A few simple steps can go a long way to preventing long lasting skin damage, so take care to consume more water and to moisturise after sun exposure. Use a deeply nourishing and hydrating product to quench your skin after you’ve been out in our harsh climate to help target dryness and its ageing effects.
Calm The Burn
When skin burns, the fine layers at the top of the dermis are damaged, causing discomfort. Aloe vera gels are great for cooling and soothing hot patches – for an even better effect, refrigerate before application – while raw, organic plant-based oils, such as rosehip, coconut and argan, contain nourishing vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help relieve the feeling of dry tight skin. Apply just before you go to sleep so they can penetrate the skin and nourish it overnight.
For total safety, we advise cheating your way to the perfect tan without exposing yourself to those harmful UV rays. Fake tan and spray tans are a great alternative to the real thing and help you maintain that sun-kissed look regardless of the weather. Be sure to start with well exfoliated skin for a flawless finish and get glowing the healthy way.
TOP FIVE PRODUCTS
1Guerlain Terracotta Sunless Tan
Cheat your way to a glowing goddess tan the safe way with this beautifully scented, smooth product that gives a natural brown hue in just a few hours. Easy application and impeccable results make this a VIVA favourite.
2 Sisley After Sun Tan Extender
Designed to soothe, moisturise and repair after sun exposure, this lotion also has a hint of self-tanner to prolong that summer glow.
3Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Tint
This two-in-one SPF product gives light coverage with tinted earth minerals, as well as helping to calm sensitive skin and protecting against moisture loss.
4Clarins Sun Care Milk Lotion Spray
This lightweight sunscreen is water and perspiration resistant and is composed of high performance UVA and UVB filters. Great for deep and long lasting protection.
5Shiseido Expert Sun Ageing Protection Lotion
This hi-tech product includes a new technology which ensures sun protection is evenly spread into the tiniest contours of the skin. The high performance formula also absorbs quickly and has a light texture, making it ideal as a make-up base.