Being Safe in The sun (Sunscreen)

I am going to talk today about being safe in the sun and how to choose the best sunscreen. Our climate in the UK appears to be getting warmer, with record temperatures in the summer of 2018, glorious sunshine! The increase in temperature brings its own problems, sleepless nights and keeping the beer cold to name a few. But sun damaged skin is what we’ll cover in this article. It is essential that we are safe in the sun!

The Benefits of The Sun

Daily exposure to the sun for up to 15 minutes is essential for our physical/mental health and well-being. Sunlight encourages the production of vitamin D which is necessary for the formation and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. Also, the brain produces a chemical called serotonin, which helps to lift peoples mood, making them feel happy.  But we also need to be aware of the potential dangers of overexposure to the suns harmful radiation.  If you’re going to be in the sun for more than a quarter of an hour you need to apply sunscreen.

Dangers of Sun Damage

Too much exposure to the sun can lead to burning, blisters, pigmentation changes (lightening or darkening of the skin) and ultimately skin cancer. Everything in moderation!

Why is sunlight dangerous?

The sun gives off radiation, part of which is visible light (Sunlight) which includes Infra Red and UVAs (Shortwave Ultraviolet), UVB (Longwave Ultraviolet). Too much exposure to UVA and UVB is what causes the sun damaged skin.

It’s important to point out is that when the sun does disappear behind a cloud, the UVA is still there. So, in the autumn and winter months the bad UV radiation, it’s still around, the sun doesn’t need to be shining!  You should always wear sunscreen!

Whats SPF?

People and retailers will talk to you about SPF sun protection. You can go and buy whatever you want off the shelves, but what are you purchasing, if you don’t really understand what you’re protecting yourself from?

Sunlight contains UVA and UVB radiation. UVB burns the surface of the skin. UVA is slightly different, as they penetrate deep into the dermis of the skin causing longterm damage to the skin cells. Leading to premature ageing, including the formation of lines and wrinkles.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor), this is an indication of the amount of time you will remain protected from the suns harmful rays. The higher the factor, the better the protection. As a rule of thumb as everyone is different, if you can stay in the sun for 10 minutes without burning, an SPF 20 will give you twenty times the protection (20 x 10 minutes = circa 3hrs 30 Mins).



What are the different skin types?

There are six different skin colours and five different types of skin. Which one are you? Choosing the best sun protection for your individual skin type and the tone is essential for the best skin protection.  Google will provide you with many answers and solutions to this question and you may be able to identify your own skin type.  However, I would always recommend seeking professional advice because if it worth the risk of getting it wrong.  A skin care professional work with skin daily and will see things that you don’t!

Skin Cancer

Were not dermatologists, but we know skin, we work with it daily. Skin cancer is on the rise due to sun exposure. My clinic frequently refers patients to their GP’s to have abnormal formations checked and removed.

Best Sun Protection

Self-protection from the harmful effects of the sun is your best defence against skin cancer and long-term damage to your skin health. A Dermatologist said to me “The best way to avoid sun damage is to keep out of the sun”, “The second is to use a good quality sun cream with a high SPF that’s in date!”. A combination of the two is probably the most practical option.

How do you know if your skin is sun damaged?

Healthy skin is smooth and even toned. As we age and our skin is exposed to life and the elements it changes colour and texture.  Prematurely damaged skin tends to be darker, with spots, blemishes and wrinkles. In fact, a suntan is a sign of sun damage. The reason the skin darkens is that when the surface of the skin is exposed to the sun, it produces a chemical called melanin to protect itself. An effect of this is that the skin darkens!

How can you protect yourself from sun damage?

Sunscreens are the best sun protection for your skin, at our clinic, we have a selection of the best sun cream for all skin types and colours. One of the best sun creams in our range is Helio 360. Helio 360 is revolutionary unique as it contains an antioxidant called ‘Fernblock’.  Fernblock, as the name suggests, comes from naturally occurring ferns. It’s a supercharged antioxidant that fights and neutralises harmful free radicals in your skin, defending the key cells like collagen and elastin.  I’m not going to try and explain how the fern works as its too complicated. But it has the effect of helping to protect the skin and DNA against free radicals.  Contact the clinic to find out more.

Helio 360

This is the best sun cream we use in the clinic, it’s a broad spectrum SPF 50. It also smells gorgeous which is a bonus. Best Sun Protection

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