Seriously Good Skincare Advice for Summer Days!

from Anamaya Therapist Dija Ayodele

Sunshine is one of the best free feel good factors. Whether it be here in London or on a far-flung beach, when the sun’s out everyone’s happy — Vitamin D creates an endorphin rush in our bodies.

But UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun are the chief environmental aggressor to our skin. 

The longest rays are UVA, and they play a big role in photo-ageing damage of the skin within the dermis. This results in patchy brown hyperpigmentation, premature lines and wrinkles, and loss of volume, as the sun attacks all important collagen and elastin fibres that plump up the skin.
UVB rays attack the epidermis, which is the uppermost layer of the skin. There they cause most damage to skin cells, causing sunburn and contributing to the development of skin cancer. In May 2016, the British Association of Dermatologists published data showing that skin cancer caused by sun exposure leads to over 2000 deaths annually.

With the summer holidays upon us, here are some tips for staying safe in the sun:

  • Apply a broad spectrum (UVA & UVB) very liberally on face and body, using a minimum of SPF30. Head and shoulders above the rest is NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50 - £34, which adapts to your skin tone and is an excellent base for makeup.
  • Find a sunscreen texture that works for you, so that spending time to apply properly is not a chore. There are sprays, creams, mousses, oils and gels available to choose from.
  • Where possible, opt for a mineral sunscreen, as these are more stable on the skin and don’t suffer extensive break down from the sun and pollution. Key ingredients to look for — Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.
  • If using a chemical sunscreen (which you’ll know by these ingredients - Octylcrylene, Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate), ensure you reapply even more frequently as it breaks down rapidly in the sun.
  • Wear a wide brim hat that shades your face, neck and ears while out in the sun. Or use a brolly!
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen around the eyes, as 10% of skin cancer starts on the eyelids. Go one step further and protect this delicate cancer prone area with oversized sunglasses.
  • If you do experience sunburn, cover up and get out of the sun as quickly as possible. To reduce heat in the skin, take a cool shower or apply a cold compress using a damp cold towel, apply a soothing lotion. I recommend UltraSun’s cooling AfterSun Gel - £16. It’s a non-sticky moisturiser and provides up to 24 hours hydration.
  • Maintain a good skincare routine throughout the year. In addition to essential sunscreen, include an exfoliating cleanser; antioxidant serum to protect from free radical damage; and a retinol night serum cream like Medik8 r-Retinoate Youth Activating Cream - £135. Retinol is a star skincare ingredient that stimulates collagen, plumps the skin’s moisture reserves and breaks down excess melanin, the substance responsible for uneven skin tones.

If you are concerned about the effects of sun damage, especially hyperpigmentation, lines and volume loss, then why not book a post summer rescue facial? It will kick start your skin’s repair processes to even out patchy skin and stimulate vital plumping collagen.  45 minutes - £75


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