The unusually harsh hot weather we have been experiencing here in the U.K, equals days spent in the sun! But as the arch nemesis of healthy skin, the sun isn’t always our best friend. What’s the secret to protecting our skin and yet safely soaking up the sun?
To begin with, know your optimal Sun Protection Factor (SPF). In clinical studies, we measure SPF effectiveness on how long it takes the subject’s skin to first appear red when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. That length of time determines a person’s individual MED, or Minimal Erythemal Dose, number. Then, we apply sunscreen and measure again. An SPF 30 would increase the subject’s MED 30 times, meaning it protects their skin 30 times longer.
Skin tone matters a great deal too. The darker your natural tone, the more protective melanin your skin produces. Not all skin responds the same to sun but all skin types needs sun protection. Broad spectrum formulas are best, as they protect from UVB and UVA rays. We characterise UVB as burning rays, since they penetrate top layers of skin, and UVA as "ageing rays", since they absorb deeper and cause more persistent pigment darkening; however, both lead to accelerated ageing of the skin.
Scientists look to protect skin from any pigmentation. That ‘tan’ is actually a visible indication of deeper damage being done.
Get Sun Ready
Use these 4 tips to help prepare your skin for the sun:
Go big and broad: Choose SPF 30 (SPF 50 for the face) with broad spectrum protection. Formulas like Artistry Ideal Radiance™ Illuminating CC Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 even include physical sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Apply enough and often: Use a large-sized handful of sunscreen to cover exposed skin. Reapply every couple of hours.
Hit the high points: Focus on areas perpendicular to the sun like the nose, cheekbones, shoulders and tops of ears and feet.
Cover up – literally: Maximise protection with a cover-up, hat and sunglasses.