Hi everyone! I hope you are all keeping well. The weather was nice while it lasted, nothing like a nation wide heat wave! Not looking so good now, however, but I'm sure the sun will come back!
For me, this lockdown is all about de-stressing and taking some personal time to work on myself and my business- mental health is so important right now, so its great to have some self care and enjoy life where we can.
Which brings me to this weeks topic- skin care. Specifically, skin care and how it's effected by the sun. I’m going to tell you exactly how to keep your skin well protected and hydrated during the summer.
Yes, we’ve all been loving the sunshine and spending as much time as we can outdoors, maybe we’ve even been to the beach and taken a refreshing dip in the ocean (avoiding large crowds of course). How many of us got sunburnt? Or, if you were good and applied all of the suncream, suddenly your face is breaking out? It feels like you just can’t win- but I promise you there are lots of things you can be doing to keep your skin glowing and healthy even after spending so much time outdoors.
First up is suncream, and let’s discuss how it actually works.
Suncream is made up of a blend of chemicals, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which act as a physical barrier. The chemicals reflect UV rays (ultra violet radiation) in a similar way to how white paint reflects light. There are two main types of UV ray- UVA and UVB.
UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and causes premature ageing, wrinkles and dark spots as well as some forms of skin cancer. UVB rays cause sunburn and several types of skin cancer. This is why suncream is so important- even if you want to get a tan. The SPF number on suncream bottles refers to how well the suncream protects against the UV radiation.
Also, even when it's cold you should really be wearing suncream at least on your face. The sun can still affect your skin, even through clouds.
So here's the tea on SPF.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it is normally recommended that you use an SPF of between 15 and 50. And, just to let you know, no type of suncream can protect against 100% of the UV rays.
The number on the bottle refers to how long it will take your skin to turn red, it has nothing to do with the strength! . Meaning an SPF 15 will prevent burning 15 times longer than usual. So, if you normally burn in 10 minutes without suncream on and apply an SPF 15, you will have protection for around 150 minutes. Theoretically. Suncream does not last forever- it comes off in water, it rubs off… so you should absolutely reapply within every 2 hours, regardless of the strength.
So, what does it mean when you’ve been good and applied your suncream every day, but now your face is breaking out? As I mentioned before, suncream is literally made up of chemicals! It’s oily, it clogs the pores, and it’s generally not a great product to be applying on the delicate skin of your face. However, it is essential for protection against those harmful ultra violet rays. What can we do?
The solution to everything- all you need is a great skincare routine! Here is an example.
Let me break it down. So, in the morning, make sure your skin is clean and apply moisturiser BEFORE the SPF! Skin care is all about layering, you want a good moisturiser to create a barrier between your skin and the suncream. The moisturiser protects from the suncream, and the suncream protects from the UV rays. By adding in that extra layer, you are stopping the chemicals from the SPF touching your skin.
In the evening, a pre cleanse is essential- I use micellar water for mine. The pre cleanse will remove dirt, makeup and, of course, the suncream residue. Once you have removed this, you can then go on to cleanse again and this time you will be cleansing the actual skin. Then, follow with rehydrating- the sun can really dry the skin out, so put that moisture back in! *“Treat” refers to serums, oils, eye creams, etc.
Another tip is to use a suncream designed for the face. Some facial moisturisers have got SPF in them, but I would recommend definitely applying something underneath, either a serum or another moisturiser. Normally, in the suncream section of the shop, there will be some products specifically designed for the face. Sometimes they may even be targeted towards skin types as well, which is good if you have sensitive skin.
So, if you do get burned, there are a couple of things you can do, but it is essentially a waiting game for your skin to heal itself. To speed up the process, you can drink lots and lots of water, which will aid the hydration of the skin. Apply aloe vera gel or lotions to the affected area and, if it’s really sore, take some ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling and irritation.
As I always say about everything, prevention is better than cure. The main thing to remember is to top up your suncream within every 2 hours and make sure it is properly removed at the end of the day. Your skin will thank you!
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks topic. Honestly, it was my sunburnt shoulders which inspired me to write this article- I wouldn't wish this pain on anybody! So make sure you apply your suncream every day! Lots of love,