7 Top Tips for Looking After Your Skin in the Sun
Proper skin protection is the best thing you can do for the health of your skin today — and slow down the effects of aging tomorrow. We know that sunscreen is valuable from a skin cancer and sun damage perspective, as well as something that helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Slathering skin with sunblock can help reduce the risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, by 35 percent among adults under age 40, according to a study published in September 2018 in JAMA Dermatology. It is recommended that you choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher and reapplying every two hours.
Mineral sunscreens are very well tolerated, even if you have sensitive skin, and supply a broad range of coverage across the UV spectrum, even better if yours also has antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E to help neutralize harmful free radicals. UV rays, pollutants, and other environmental elements can produce free radicals, which damage skin and contribute to aging, according to an article published in February 2018 in Dermatology Research and Practice.
While you’ve likely heard the siren call to wear sunscreen (every day!), there are some additional tips and tricks you can use to enhance your UV-blocking abilities or rescue sun-ravaged skin. Here are my 7 Top tips for Looking after your skin in the sun.
Sunscreen is a must, of course. It’s less about the brand — unless you have sensitivities or are prone to breakouts — and more about the application. Aim to adequately cover the face and neck, make sure you apply a tablespoon of product every few hours. (that’s anywhere from a 10p to £2 sized dollop as a good visual.) That’s crucial. People typically use less sunscreen than they need to, which gives them just 40 percent of the product’s protection, according to a July 2018 study in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereology. That said, any application will help reduce skin cancer risk.
Always Sport SPF Outdoors — Even if It’s a Cloudy Day
It’s almost too easy to remember to apply sunscreen on hot days when you’re heading to the beach. Harder, though, is to keep skin health front of mind when the weather is bad. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold, cloudy, and raining, you should still wear SPF. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t out. As much as 80 percent of UV rays can still reach your skin when it’s cloudy.
Many OTC daily moisturisers contain SPF so there really is not excuse to miss this from your daily routine. One of my favourites is Tropic SUN DAY facial UV defence SPF 50.
Turn to a Tinted Sunscreen to Strengthen Your Defenses
There’s a way to turn up the protection on sunscreen, and that’s by adding a tint. Right now I’m loving Tropic Skincare Skin Shade, it’s a mineral facial sunscreen which provide a dewy coverage and ideal for anyone who wants their SPF to double as a sheer foundation. It’s perfect for sensitive skin and great to wear under makeup. It leaves my skin glowing.
This is an incredibly smart practice. There’s good data available that show there are other wavelengths of light that damage skin, including radiant energy waves and blue light, the visible light emitted from computer screens and cell phones, These are longer wavelengths that penetrate deeper, and the concern is that they to damage the connective tissues within skin.
Tinted sunscreens contain an ingredient called iron oxide that blocks this radiant energy.
RELATED: Collagen boost to enhance your skin’s glow.
Find a Sunscreen You Can Blend Easily Into Your Skin
Many SPFs have a way of … looking like you just put on sunscreen. Especially for women of color. “Sun protection used to be a frustrating experience,” says Lestraundra Alfred, founder and host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast (@balancedles). She found her SPF soul mate in Black Girl Sunscreen, an SPF 30 formulation that Alfred wears even in the winter. “The nontoxic brand is designed for darker skin tones and doesn’t leave a white film on the skin,” she says.
Get a Good Hat and Stay Cool in the Shade
Along with wearing a good sunscreen, it’s also recommend that we wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors. Personally I love wearing hats….. but especially when I know I’m going to be in the sun for an extended period of time. Not only does it keep the sun out of my face, I also don’t have to worry about re-applying SPF so often.
Hats are a healthy habit, as they offer an additional layer that guards against UV rays, especially if you accidentally skip areas or apply a too-thin layer. A wide brim is best but a large peaked baseball cap is good too. When you’re buying your hat I recommend holding the hat up to the indoor light – If you can see through it, it’s not offering enough protection.
P.S. Top hat tip….. The lighter the colour of the hat the less you will sweat and you’ll be able to withstand the warmer weather.
To Rehydrate Your Skin, Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Time spent in the sun saps skin of its moisture. To combat a potentially parched dermis, apply cacao butter to it. It’s packed with omega-6 and -9 fatty acids and antioxidants, and it’s safe enough for use in DIY beauty and food recipes, which makes me feel really good about applying it to my skin – look at Navitas Organic Cacao Butter.
Another option is a virgin coconut oil. Make sure that you apply this moisturizer after sun exposure, as the added hydration will lessen the risk of peeling. If you don’t like the texture of either — some find them greasy — a non greasy moisturizer like Forever Aloe Moisturizing Lotion or Forever Aloe Body Lotion both are great choices and contain healing Aloe Vera which we all know is great for the skin. (Did you know you can drink Aloe Vera gel to soothe your gut ………)
Please note this warning: Cacao Butter and Coconut Oil can exacerbate acne, so if you are prone to break outs consider other options such as Tropic Facial Oils as shown below.
Enjoy the Sunshine — but Smartly and in Moderation
It’s no surprise that sunshine just makes us feel good. Vitamin D, which our skin produces from exposure to sunlight, is essential for well-being, including bone health and immunity. Sunburn is never good for the skin, but a small daily dose of the sun, plus applying skin-replenishing ingredients, is a good practice. A past study found that exposing just 35 percent of your skin to the sun for 13 minutes a few times a week was sufficient. That said, dermatologists are wary of suggesting you try to soak up too much sun via unexposed skin and an alternative is to get Vitamin D from food and supplements. If you’re concerned that you may be deficient in Vitamin D, ask your doctor to check your levels (done with an easy blood test); they may recommend taking a supplement, with the specific amount depending on your results.
One last extra tip from me personally, following sun exposure, I like to apply facial oils such as Tropic Super Greens and Tropic Rainforest Dew or the fabulous Tropic Elixir. These all provide great hydration and antioxidants – but just a friendly reminder — they’re not a substitution for sun protection.
That’s my 7 Top Tips for Looking After Your Skin in the Sun
Enjoy the sunshine everyone and stay safe!!!