Are you confused about what spf protection to use, why you should use and when you should use it? There is so much information out there, who knows what to believe.
Lets start at the beginning.
WHY DO YOU WEAR SUN PROTECTION FACTOR?
It is to protect your skin against UV rays that damage your skin and can cause Skin cancer.
When the skin is exposed to high levels of sunlight this may result in hypo or hyperpigmentation which appears as irregular light or dark patches. The body is excellent at coping with minimal amounts of damage, but if exposure is greater than the body’s ability to repair and mop up, more serious consequences may result. If DNA is damaged and its repair mechanisms are inhibited, skin cancer may occur.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT SKIN CANCER?
Yes, Skin cancer is now at pandemic levels within countries (including the UK) which are actually using the most SPF’s, (Sun Protection Factor) products. Further, the worrying trend is it’s now a real killer and deformer due to the surgery needed to remove. You may ask yourself, why is that, when people are using more SPF’s than ever before and are in theory being made more aware of the dangers ?
Simply put, it’s because people are not aware of the “hidden dangers” and are very confused about it all. A recent conversation with a ‘world leading skincare’ ex sales director, who had three cancerous lumps removed from her face said to me, “people don’t understand what to use” and that included her.
What are UV Rays?
There are two sun rays you need to know about UVB & UVA , both very different.
The first ray “UVB” is the one that burns you. This is like a heat ray and the reason why you use your SPF’s to stop this happening. The little particles in the sunscreens work like little mirrors, reflecting the heat & UV burn. It does a good job of doing this.
The thing to remember with UVB is that unless you keep getting burnt (which is painful enough), the surface skin is replaced every 20-30 days, so if you can make use of an umbrella or other forms of shade, including hats etc you’ll get 100% protection from UVB.
The other, more serious ray is “UVA” it’s a form of radiation and totally different. It ‘s able to penetrate glass and water, as well as bypassing what protection you have from UVB. It penetrates through all the layers of skin right down to where new cells are forming, where they’re at their most vulnerable. There’s no knowing what UVA is doing, as there’s no burn, it’s even present in the shade, quietly mutating cells. Some scientist’s feel, that UVA causes some of the worst forms of skin cancers and that it’s the main reason why we have ‘pandemic levels’.
The thing to note about UVA is that it’s a massive “free radical” which damages your cells, collagen, DNA and skin layers. Free radicals are significantly reduced by antioxidants. It’s also the main thing which ages the skin prematurely, causing massive collagen damage, responsible for 90% of our lines and wrinkles.
So how can you protect yourself and where do you find the best antioxidants ?.
requiring repair and is a result of dilating blood vessels. The skin will then start to lose moisture and hydration, which will be apparent with a feeling of tightness. Slowly, skin cells will start to thicken and melanin pigment will be produced (tanning) in an attempt to stop the UV rays from penetrating through to the deeper layers and damaging the DNA of the cells. When the skin is exposed to high levels of sunlight this may result in hypo or hyperpigmentation which appears as irregular light or dark patches. The body is excellent at coping with minimal amounts of damage, but if exposure is greater than the body’s ability to repair and mop up, more serious consequences may result. If DNA is damaged and its repair mechanisms are inhibited, skin cancer may occur.
Will sunbathing contribute to my skin ageing?
Yes, Skin is an excellent record keeper. Every moment of exposure to daylight adds up like money in the bank – the problem is the payoff known as sun damage (also known as photodamage). As the top cause of premature signs of skin aging, sun damage shows on skin in the form of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, and can lead to a repressed immune system and the potential for skin cancer.
Even if exposure is limited to brief outdoor lunches or a 20-minute walk, cumulative exposure is enough to cause the signs of skin aging. The first line of daily defense against sun damage is daily use of SPF. Even on cloudy or overcast days, UV light can strike skin and cause damage, so simply wearing sunscreen on sunny days isn’t enough.
Fortunately, more sophisticated sunscreen formulations with skin health benefits (think less chalky, less greasy) have made SPF a convenient addition to our morning routine. Speak with your professional skin therapist about SPF moisturizers that can be worn comfortably under make-up, or alone to deliver defense against skin aging UV light.
I apply my sunscreen and still get burnt, Why?
Why: It’s not enough to just apply sunscreen.: you must apply enough, and apply frequently. Studies indicate that most people do not apply nearly as much daylight protection as they should.
How much: A teaspoon for the face. For the body, about as much as would fill a shot glass.
How often: Re-apply every two hours. Tip: Stay out of the midday sun from mid-morning to late afternoon whenever you can.
Note: Today’s sophisticated formulas and technology let you select sun protection that works with your skin condition. That means you can choose oil-free, mattifying formulas, extra emollient formulas for dry skin, or chemical free formulas for sensitized, reactive skin
Ouch! Somehow I got burnt! I forgot to apply sunscreen, I did not apply enough or I got caught in a sunny spell! What can I do?
What’s next: Unfortunately, the damage is done, but you don’t have to suffer in pain! Super-soothing botanicals and cooling gels can help prevent peeling and reduce redness and inflammation.
How: Apply cooling balms generously over-exposed skin, preferably at the first sight of a pink glow.
NOTE: One blistering sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma — remember to get a yearly skin exam by a doctor and perform a self-examination once a month to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change.
Try After Sun Repair.