Sun's out, fun's out! We’ve done our research, and we’d like to give you a little lesson in summer skin protection. Though you may be craving a bronzed beach babe look, we’re constantly facing daily aggressors that can cause damage to our skin.
A simple solution is to invest in sunscreen, but how much do you really know about it? Is your go-to suncream even the right one for your skin type?
Know your sunscreen
Although a daily dose of Vitamin D is great for skin, too much time in the sun can lead to wrinkles, sun spots, sunburn, prickly heat and even skin cancer. For optimum protection, invest in a sunscreen that contains a high SPF and defends against both UVA and UVB rays.
UVA vs UVB - what’s the difference?
Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays are long-wave rays that penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin ageing and wrinkling, and even suppression of the immune system!
On the other hand, ultraviolet B (UVB rays) are short-wave rays which cause sunburn on the top layers of your skin. UVB rays are strongest between 10am - 4pm and play a key role in the development of skin cancer.
The SPF scoop
Which SPF (Sun Protection Factor) you need will vary according to your complexion and reaction to the sun. Take a look at this handy guide from Banana Boat below to find your perfect partner!
Choosing the right cream for your skin
If you have oily skin, a lightweight water or gel-based sunscreen won’t be too heavy or block your pores. On the other hand, if you suffer from dry skin, an oil-based sunscreen will work wonders. Your complexion will remain hydrated and fresh, giving you a dewy summer look.
For all those with sensitive skin, an oil-free, hypoallergenic sunscreen will be your best friend in the summer months. Fragrance and chemical free, these creams will sit on top of the skin, reflecting the harmful rays instead of being absorbed into it.
The natural approach
Some people take a more natural approach to sunscreen, choosing to make their own at home using natural ingredients such as:
- Coconut oil (SPF 4-6)
- Shea butter (SPF 4-6)
- Almond oil (SPF approx. 5)
- Zinc oxide (SPF 2-20 depending on how much is used)
- Red raspberry seed oil (SPF 25-50)
- Carrot seed oil (SPF 35-40)
However, when using these ingredients it’s hard to quantify a definite SPF, so these should only be used when sun exposure is low.
So, whether you’re going on holiday or simply soaking up the sun from the comfort of your garden, apply your sunscreen thoroughly and regularly. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and a hat, and make the most of the summer!
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