Sun Care: Looking after your skin this summer

Posted on: 04 August 2010 by Mark O'haire

Skin care and make-up expert Stella Gardner gives her top tips to enjoying the summer sunshine whilst also maintaining a healthy and vibrant skin tone throughout life.

skin care in the sunMany people incorrectly assume dry skin leads to wrinkles and that moisturisers can prevent them. Not true. Research shows that 90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun's UVA light and sun damage is the number one cause of premature ageing in women and men.

Why are UVA rays so bad? Even at low-level exposures, UVA light breaks down collagen, which causes wrinkles. Even worse, scientists have found that UVA is the main culprit for many melanomas because it reaches deep into the underlying support structure of the skin. Consequently, it is impossible to develop a tan without having at least some damage occurring to the skin.

A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin. Sun exposure can also cause more-serious problems, such as skin cancer.

By selecting appropriate clothing and applying proper sun protection, it is possible to enjoy outdoor activities in the sunshine, while still maintaining healthy and vibrant skin throughout life.

Top Tips

  • Overexposure to the sun must be avoided at all ages, but more so as we mature
  • Apply sunscreen to clean, dry skin
  • It is recommended to use a teaspoon of sunscreen for each limb. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen.
  • Don’t vigorously rub in sunscreen – most sunscreens absorb into the skin and need only to be spread around
  • Avoid going out in the sun between 10am and 4pm. If you have no choice, try to avoid the sun as much as you can, by seeking a shaded spot.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen, which provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. A Sun Protection Factor of minimum 15 is essential. Even when you are indoors, apply sunscreen. The harmful effects of the sun are not restricted to the outdoors, and can penetrate windows.
  • Apply sunscreen twenty minutes before going outdoors to give it time to bond to your skin.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.
  • If you are exposed to the sun, even for as little as 10 to 20 minutes a day, which includes walking to your car or talking to a neighbour outdoors, that cumulative exposure over the years will wrinkle your skin, and no skin-care product except a sunscreen with a high SPF can change that.
  • Since we know we have to stay out of the sun, try using bronzers to achieve that healthy sun look glow. Match a powdered bronzer not too dark for your skin tone all over your face. For mature skin use a matte like powder. If you want to achieve a more shimmer look then add this over the first matte layer, paying extra attention to the areas of your face that the sun would naturally hit. Then try using a liquid bronzer on your body.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.

By Stella Gardner

Stella-Gardner---Sales-DeveStella Gardner, Sales Development & Education Manager, from global cosmetics company, Mary Kay, brings 17 years’ experience of working in skin care.

About Mary Kay

Mary Kay is one of the largest direct selling companies in the world, specialising in make-up and skin care.  Operating in over 35 markets world-wide, Mary Kay has an Independent Sales Force of 5,000 beauty consultants in the UK.

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