How to protect your skin from the sun3rd November 2018
Enjoying the sun is a wonderful and healthy thing, as long as it is done safely. There’s nothing wrong with catching a golden tan as long as you take the necessary precautions. We are told all the time that wearing sunscreen is important, but you might be unsure as to why. Beyond preventing uncomfortable sunburn (although that’s a great reason in its own right), there are other, even more serious reasons why you should always be protecting your skin from the sun.
In this blog we are going to talk about what a few of those reasons are and give our advice on how you can better protect your skin whilst still soaking up those rays.
This is the biggest, scariest reason that you should always consider protecting your skin from the sun. Regularly applying sunscreen and avoiding prolonged sun exposure significantly decreases your risk of getting skin cancer. The UV rays from the sun damage your skin cells, and over time your skin cells will struggle to recover. This is when skin cancer becomes a dangerous potential consequence of failing to protect your skin. However, wearing sun screen helps create a barrier between your skin and the UV rays. If you can generally avoid prolonged sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their harshest then even better.
Sunspots and ageing
A more cosmetic consequence of sun damage to the skin is premature ageing and the presence of sunspots. According to studies, sun exposure could account for up to 85% of visible skin ageing symptoms. Practicing methods of skin protection though can reduce and delay these effects. The ageing process is of course an inevitability, however, taking measures to protect your skin from the sun can leave you with softer, smother and more youthful looking skin for longer.
Wearing sunscreen routinely will also help prevent sunspots from forming on your skin. Sun spots – also known as age spots or liver spots – are small, dark, flat spots that appear on the skin surfaces most commonly exposed to the sun. Wearing sunscreen and avoiding extended sun exposure can help prevent sunspots occurring. Should they occur, actual sun spots are harmless. However, if you’re worried about new blemishes appearing upon your skin do consult a medical professional.
How to protect your skin
Using sunscreen should be your skin’s primary defence from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It is not the only measure you can or should take though. If you’re worried you’ve spent too long in the sun, prioritise finding shade. A good way of knowing when’s the best time to seek shade is by following the shadow rule. The shadow rule dictates that if your shadow is shorter than yourself then consider protecting yourself from the sun. This will typically occur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Think bigger than the beach
The sun can damage your skin no matter what the weather is like. Even in overcast conditions, UV rays penetrate through the clouds and damage skin tissue. Not only that, sunlight reflects off of snow, water and sand, meaning you should provide coverage for all angles.
Protecting your skin from the sun is something to be considered the whole year round. Sunscreen isn’t the only product you can use to look after your skin either. Many make up brands, moisturisers and lotions feature a sun protection factor (SPF). Understanding SPFs is crucial to purchasing the right kind of sun care products. For a thorough guide to SPF, click here.
If you follow the above advice then you’ll be ready to enjoy the sun safely. In the long run, the benefits that getting into these habits can have for your skin can be huge.