There is nothing quite like a British Summer, and if you plan to make the most of the sunshine this season you will need to be prepared. A golden tan is considered the most desired souvenir of the any holiday, yet exposure to the sun’s powerful rays comes at a price.
The sun emits both UVA and UVB rays that can cause considerable and in some cases irreparable damage to our skins delicate cells, and effective sunscreens must offer protection for both types.
Why are UVA and UVB rays harmful?
UVA rays are the less intense of the two, but are present during all hours of daylight, so don’t fall for the most common skin damage mistakes of not protecting your skin on even the cloudiest day. UVA rays are responsible for wrinkles and sunspots as they penetrate deep into the skin layers to speed up the aging process. It is the daily over exposure to these rays over time that can result in the development of melanomas, or skin cancers.
UVB rays are less penetrative than UVA and instead cause damage to the skins surface by burning the superficial layers, bringing a change in the skin pigmentation and age spots. Unlike UVA, UVB ray intensity is dependent upon the time of day, area and season.
Sun Exposure and Skin Damage
Skin damage is frequently associated with sun worshippers who have over exposed themselves through tanning salons or hours lay in the sun, but an incredible two thirds of all sun related skin damage is caused when going about our everyday activities such as walking the dog, driving or out shopping. The most common signs of skin damage include freckles, sunspots or age spots, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and even skin thinning, many of which are irreversible.
Humans require exposure to the sun in order for our bodies to create Vitamin D which boosts our health, mood and immune system, however we regularly exceed the recommended 15 minutes exposure before 10am or after 2pm. The sun’s rays are typically the hottest and most dangerous between 11 and 2 pm, consisting of 10% UVB and 90% UVA, therefore you should avoid the sun altogether during these hours or at the very least apply a high SPF and remain covered with loose long sleeved tops and long linen trousers and a wide brimmed hat.
With this is mind, experts are strongly recommending that good quality SPF skin protection should be applied on a daily basis, and not just at the beach. Many moisturisers, hand creams and body lotions now come with SPF in them, so try to look out for them when stocking up on your beauty products to ensure that you protect your skin at all times. Don’t fall into the trap of applying SPF once for the whole day, SPF’s are designed to be regularly reapplied, at least every 2-3 hours or every time you get out of the pool or sea if you are on holiday.
If you are prone to oily skin, hot weather can exacerbate this problem further, so be sure to invest in an oil free moisturizer to help you combat excess oil. On the other hand, overly dry skin can quickly become super dehydrated as we lose moisture in the heat, therefore a rich moisturising SPF will help to replenish your skin.
Our skin cells are made up of 80% water, therefore the best prevention to skin damage aside form SPF is to drink plenty of fluids. By keeping the body hydrated the skin cells remain plump and better able to withstand the UVA and UVB rays. This tip is especially useful for oily complexions, as if you do not drink enough water your skin will overcompensate by producing excess sebum to cover your skin.
The skincare industry has harnessed the power of antioxidants for years, and you can boost your skin even further by including beauty serums and superfoods rich in vitamin C and E in your daily regime.
Lastly, don’t be put off by the sun – there are always going to be warning signs, but you should also not live in complete fear. As long as you follow the necessary procedures, remain protected with sun lotions, wearing a hat if necessary and remaining hydrating you can ensure that you have fun in the sun and even get a little golden.
Sponsored article written by guest writer
Hi, I’m Anna the Editor of Beauty and Lace. This website was my first baby and since its launch, I’ve gained three kids, a husband, and a puppy! We want to keep this space positive, we are all about sharing the things we love – and avoiding the things we don’t. Happy reading x