Looking After Your Skin in Summer
Giving you skin that extra bit of attention is imperative in the summer months. With more daylight hours and harsher UV rays, your skin will be prone to more imperfections than usual. Unfortunately, these skin flops aren’t strictly beauty related – if ignored, dangerous skin conditions can emerge. As well as giving some beauty tips, I will be placing emphasis on keeping your skin safe and healthy in this month’s beauty blog.
There really is no better feeling than chilling out sipping on an ice-cold drink with the sun beating down on your skin. This state of relaxation can often put all worries and cares to the back of our mind, even the notion of protecting our skin. “I’m only outside for a short while” and “I’ve already got a base” are some of the most common excuses for not applying SPF. Both excuses, I hate to say, are completely invalid arguments! From the moment your skin comes into contact with the sun’s rays you are experiencing damage, no matter how little. Furthermore, having a base doesn’t mean you are immune from skin damage, either. It is correct to say that you are probably more sensitive to the sun than if you hadn’t seen daylight in months or even weeks, however the reason your skin has produced melanin (this is what makes you look tanned) is a result of skin damage from the sun. Yes, everyone looks better with a tan but it will age you and worst case, can result in dangerous conditions or diseases.
My advice is to never underestimate the sun. It is a massive fiery ball some millions of kilometers away that still manages to inflict its heat on our planet, so why do we consider ourselves to be any less vulnerable? Always, always, always apply sunscreen in summer. I’ve learned recently that the factors on sunscreen are so much more than the rating - in fact, they are actually a time gauge of when to reapply. Let me break this down for you: factor 30, means you should reapply your sun cream every thirty minutes, factor 20, every twenty minutes and so on. The factors are there to act as a guide for how long the barrier will fully protect your skin from the sun. Helpful, huh?
Another tip when purchasing an SPF is to look for the label which says “broad spectrum”, which means it has been tested to protect against UVA light. UVA light is the rays that cause your skin to change colour and therefore this will ensure maximum coverage. If there’s an incentive to protect yourself from UVA rays then it’s this: UVA is responsible for your skin wrinkling and becoming aged. To keep that natural and youthful elasticity, choose broad spectrum! UVA isn’t the only sun ray that you’ve got to look out for. UVB, responsible for the discolouration of your skin and the reason your skin burns, is also very harmful. Although this damage is easy to spot (and feel in some cases), the damage can often start before your skin kicks into defence mode. Whilst all sunscreens aim to stop sun burn, they all vary in terms of their UVB protections. Next time you are shopping for a sunscreen, take a look at the front or back label and look for the UVB rating.
Understanding the ‘why’ of sunscreen has helped me appreciate it so much more. When I was younger and more naïve, I believed that only the concentrated rays of the sunbeds were harmful – but that’s absolutely not true. UV rays are harmful in any form and won’t be any less harmful for any excuse that you may come up. In a commitment to look as young as JLO in 30 years’ time, it’s absolutely essential that I take summer skincare so seriously - and you should too!