Summer is here and you can’t wait to get out there and soak up the rays. Sure, in Britain, this isn’t all that likely, but if you’re heading off on holiday, you’ll probably spend a lot of time laying around the pool or exploring in the sun.
Everyone likes a sun-kissed glow — but at what risk? Without the correct protection in place, you could be severely damaging your skin, all in the name of a tan. Together with official Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty, we explain the IDEAL ways to prevent premature sun aging.
SAFEGUARD YOUR EYES
“Crow’s feet” wrinkles around the eyes are the dreaded visual sign of growing old for many men and women. What they don’t realise is that by exposing the sensitive skin around the eyes to the sun, bringing the temporary, tan-fuelled illusion of youth, they are actually speeding up the premature aging process.
The skin around the eyes is one of the first to show visible signs of aging, so wearing sunglasses is a great way to shield both your eyes and skin. You may be tempted to purchase a budget pair of shades, but you’ll need to ensure they offer 99% protection against the sun’s UV rays, as a minimum.
ALWAYS WEAR SUN PROTECTION
This is an obvious one, but one so often neglected by young and old alike. Wearing sun protection is vital in fighting the signs of sun aging and keeping your skin safe. Choose a sun lotion with an SPF factor of at least 15 or greater to protect against UVB rays, and look for a minimum of a four-star UVA protection rating. Apply liberally and don’t forget oft neglected areas like your ears, feet or the back of your neck.
Even on cloudy, overcast says, you’ll still need your SPF factor — 87% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, fog and mist, explaining why we get burnt on a seemingly ‘cold’ day. In fact, when the sun is at its strongest, between 11am and 3pm, the NHS recommends spending time in the shade and covering up.
WEAR A HAT
If your priority is protecting your face from sun aging, wearing a hat can help, especially if it has a peak or a wide-brim. However, it’s not enough to just wear a hat—light can reflect off surfaces and still hit your face, so you should always wear it alongside your SPF factor.
Naturally, wide-brim hats shade more of your face, neck and shoulders, so offer greater protection than baseball caps, for example, which only shade part of your face. Consider the material of your hat too — straw allow more rays to pass through than those with tightly woven fabrics.
PROTECT YOUR LIPS
Lips are often forgotten about, yet with their delicate, thin skin, they can become damaged by the sun quickly. As such, it’s important to protect your lips using either a lip protectant with a built-in SPF factor or at the very least a layer of your usual sun protection.
Don’t assume that your usual lip products will block the sun’s rays. One study has found that lip gloss and its high-shine effect actually magnifies and attracts the sun, potentially causing more damage. Don’t leave anything to chance – always protect your lips from the sun.