Since Britain is experiencing a heat wave at the moment, it’s probably a good time to revisit the matter of sun screens and UV protection.
What is the most effective way to protect your skin?
Apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen seems to be the most obvious answer. But like most obvious things, this is easier said than done. The recommended amount of sunscreen for your face, neck and décolleté area is 5 to 7 ml. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is in fact a lot. Quite a lot more, than people normally apply, it would seem. Sunscreens are often thick and heavy, they leave your skin sticky, shiny and smeared in white goo, which is a perfectly acceptable beach look, but not the one you’d want to wear around town.
So what to do, then? Let me offer some practical advice to help you through the sunny days!
- Put away all skincare that increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun: that is anything with AHA-acids, retinol in all its forms and its derivatives. Beware of stuff with vitamin A. An unpleasant side effect of this, otherwise fairly beneficial ingredient, is making your skin more susceptible to UV rays.
- Exfoliate weekly! Smooth, even and regularly renewing skin has a higher protective ability. Remember not to use acid-based peelings, opt for gentle enzyme exfoliation instead.
- Stay hydrated inside and out! Drink more water, apply moisturising masks at least once a week (as often as every other day if you can afford it), add a deeply moisturising concentrate or booster to your daily skin care routine. Look for hyaluronic acid containing solutions, not only does it hydrate and restore your skin, but it also increases the skin’s protective properties.
- Use prebiotic skincare, especially if you live in a big city with polluted air and/or smoke. Healthy skin’s microbiome is capable of many amazing things, like destroying a significant amount of fly ash particles on your skin and helping your pigment cells set up their protective “umbrellas” in your skin preventing the appearance of pigment spots.
- Don’t forego restorative skin care at night. If the skin is damaged by UV radiation, help it regenerate by applying skin care with healing restorative ingredients, like vitamin E, niacinamide, some forms of vitamin C (Ascorbyl TIP, in particular), Centella Asiatica (a wonderful ingredient if you have sun allergy as well!), blueberry extract, green tea extract, resveratrol and red grape extract, black willow bark extract and some others.
Finally, do use sunscreens if you stay outdoors a lot, even if it is mildly uncomfortable. After all, a sunburn would be a great deal worse than that.
Oh, and remember to enjoy the sunshine still — we all know that it won’t last, not in Britain anyway!