Childhood is the time during which exposure to UV radiation is more likely to lead to skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression and skin cancer.
I remember going to the beach pretty much every day in the summer with my brother, sunbathing for a good 5-6 hours a day under the sizzling sun in Bulgaria without any sun protection at all! There were not many sun protection creams really in the late 80’s and the beginning of 90’s and not much information about the danger of the sun either.
So, both of us would get painfully sunburned like lobsters and the only solution we had to take the redness down and stop the skin peeling was to cover ourselves from top to bottom in yoghurt.
Unfortunately those fun days have had a negative impact at a later stage in my life. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), a form of skin cancer. 9 in 10 cases of BCC; are thought to be caused by sun damage. Luckily working in the beauty industry helped me to spot the tiny patch of skin cancer and I had it removed just 3 weeks after finding it.
The effects of the sun also created a lot of hyper pigmentation on my face, which appeared about a year ago. Luckily I have managed to treat it and get rid of about 80% of it, with some of Dermalogica’s products. The C-12 Pure Bright Serum and The Pure Light SPF50 have worked miracles and are an absolute must in my daily skin routine.
Everyone needs a little sunshine—if nothing else, for the relaxing warmth and some extra Vitamin D. We just need to make sure that before we take our loved ones outdoors, we have protected the whole family against the damaging effects of the sun.
So here are my tips on how to protect your families’ skin, both young and old, in the sunny months:
Use protective clothing.
If you can see skin, UV rays can damage it. Try covering up as much as possible with loose-fitting, cool and breathable clothing. Long shorts, elbow length tops and darker coloured clothing offer great protection. Some clothing is even made specifically with UV protection to provide extra sun safety while you’re outside doing your gardening or having a nice walk.
Use broad-spectrum, water-resistant sun tan lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher.
The sunscreen needs to be applied at least 20 minutes before going out into the sun. Choose easy to apply products and remember to re-apply after swimming or playing. Avoid sprays, as they cannot cover the skin reliably. The Protection 50 Sport from Dermalogica is a solar protection treatment defending against prolonged skin damage from UV light and environmental assault. The Lightweight formula helps neutralise damage and bind moisture to skin without a greasy after-feel.
Put on a hat and make sure it covers the head, face, ears and neck. Wide-brimmed hats are best.
Eye protection is of great importance too.
They are particularly sensitive to UV damage, and even one day in the sun can result in a burned cornea. Cumulative exposure may lead to cataracts later in life. A combination of a hat and sunglasses will give optimal eye protection.
UV light can still reflect off surfaces like concrete and sand so even in the shade, keep hats and sunglasses on and keep skin covered on high UV days, especially if you have to be out during the hottest parts of the day (between 11am and 4pm). Stay under the trees or an umbrella that will block some of the strongest rays of the sun.
Avoiding dehydration is vital in the summer and I know you’ve heard this about a million times, but I have to mention again; remember to drink lots of water.
Check your medication
Some medications can cause sensitivity to the sun, making you more susceptible to serious sun damage like sunburn, blisters, swelling or rashes. If you’re not sure of the side effects your medication may have with the sun, make sure you talk to your doctor before spending any time outside.
For the older generation, certain foods can help improve the condition of your skin’s firmness, like those high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. Veggies and fruits are high in antioxidants and therefore also great for keeping your skin looking younger and healthier.
Elderly skin can be prone to dryness, so a good moisturiser can help rehydrate your skin. The Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 is one of our best sellers at Shine. You can achieve absolute hydration and help defend against the internal and external causes of skin aging with this medium-weight, emollient daily moisturiser with Broad Spectrum SPF50. It contains AGE Smart® ingredients to enhance the skin’s natural ability to fight skin-ageing free radicals, helping to prevent the signs of ageing caused by sugar reacting with proteins in skin (AGEs). It also regulates the formation of collagen-degrading MMPs brought on by UV rays and is formulated without artificial fragrances and colours.
Hot temperatures and sun damage can dry skin out even further, so create a moisture barrier with a high quality skin lotion or cream that will help prevent water loss from layers of skin.
We at Shine wish you a joyful summer, with plenty of glorious days outside, without the hassle and discomfort of sunburn.