In clinic we always stress the importance of protecting the skin with an SPF to prevent premature ageing and pigmentation, as May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it has given us another reason to talk even more about the importance of using products that protect the skin against harmful UV rays.
When the suns out its easy to remember to reach for the sunscreen and protect our skin from noticeable burning, as even a simple burn can lead to skin cancer, but did you know that the sun is damaging to your skin all year round? Regardless of sun, rain or clouds.
UVB largely effects the top layer of skin causing redness, burning and skin cancer. Whereas UVA, a longer wavelength, penetrates deeper in to the skin, not only causes ageing and wrinkles, but the release of free radicals and DNA changes that can result in skin cancer. UVA which makes up 95% of the sun’s rays is present in day light all year round, penetrating clouds and even glass.
In the UK, skin cancer rates have increase by 128% in the last 20 years highlighting the importance of protection, prevention and early detection of skin cancer.
Protecting the skin in the sun
1) Avoid sun exposure between 12pm and 4pm when the sun is known to be at its strongest.
2) Take to the shade, it will keep you cool as well.
3) Using a hat, clothes and sunglasses will protect delicate skin and eyes.
4) Always wear sunscreen and reapply regularly.
5) Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow for full protection.
6) Reapply after swimming.
7) Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
Detecting skin changes early
Examine the skin from head to toe, once a month and note any changes in the skin, freckles or moles. Any changes in colour, size, shape or texture should be closely monitored and we recommend seeking medical advice from your doctor if you are concerned, even if to be safe and sure.
The lesser know culprits
There has been more research into infrared-A and visible light, both present in daylight all year round.
Infrared-A represents over a third of solar radiation reaching our skin. It directly affects cells in the top three layers of the skin and chronic exposure results in the breakdown of collagen. With studies showing that more wrinkles are formed when combined exposure to infrared-A and UV has taken place.
The sun is the main source of visible light, making up 40%-45% of the radiation that reaches the earths surface. Its biological effects on the skin not only include change to pigmentation and redness, but free radical production. Visible light is responsible for 33% of sun-induced free-radicals in the skin. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells and the way our skin functions, effecting how our skin looks and its health.
Blue light, a part of high-energy visible light, is a hot topic, as this is the light we are exposed to when using phones, tablets and computers. Although the risk is considerably lower, our regular exposure to this light, with some studies suggesting we are on our devices more than we sleep, it is a potential concern when it comes to skin damage.
Daily Defence – Protecting the skin all year round
There is little point investing time and money into improving your skin if you don’t take the right measure to protect it. Here are the products we recommend in clinic.
This hero product is a state-of-the art photoprotection range. It provides complete spectrum coverage from UVB, UVA, visible and infrared rays, as well as an important restorative and antioxidant activity against solar damage. RRP £31.00 to £34.99
In support of Skin Cancer Awareness Month there is 10% off all Heliocare products in clinic throughout May.
HELIOCARE 360º INVISIBLE SPRAY SPF50+ 200ml – NEW
If you are heading on holiday soon or fingers crossed the great weather sticks around, why not try Heliocare’s new launch. This sunscreen is great for the body and can be applied on to wet skin. Dries super quick, invisible and non-oily. RRP £28.99
ADVANCED NUTRITION PROGRAMME SKIN COMPLETE (ANTIOXIDANTS)
An oral supplement along with antioxidants in your skincare to help safeguard skin from the inside out. RRP £40
Jane Iredale formulated its first mineral base with SPF more than 20 years ago, at the time, it was not common to put sunscreen in make-up. Today, they have a range of multi-tasking SPF foundations recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreens.
Choose from a tinted moisturiser, full coverage cream, pure pressed or loose mineral powder available in a large range of colours to suit all skin types. The range enhances your natural beauty whilst helping reduce the damaging effects of UV rays that course fine lines and wrinkles.
Powder-Me SPF® Dry Sunscreen – £36.00
For daily use and great on the go, nourish, protect and soothe your skin with this broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen for body, face and scalp. Water-resistant up to 40 minutes. Reef safe sunscreen.
Cantabria Labs Heliocare, 2018, accessed 9th May 2019, https://www.heliocare.net/index.html
Skincancer.org, 2019, accessed 9th May 2019, https://www.skincancer.org/
iiaa, 2015, accessed 9th May 2019, https://iiaa.eu/