Over recent decades beauty standards have altered to place a larger importance on bronzed, sun-kissed skin. Changing leisure habits have made regular use of sunbeds acceptable, and a culturally agreed importance of boasting a year-round tan, as a sign of health – and expendable wealth – mean that tanning is more pervasive than ever before.
Sporting a gorgeous glowing skin tone may make some among us feel better about our looks, but the potential health effects have been widely reported on. Specifically in the UK, a recent study from dermatological platform Derma.Plus showed that Britain has the 10th highest diagnoses of skin cancer worldwide annually. This is a worrying statistic for everyone; it’s not just those who use artificial tanning methods who need to be careful to keep their skin protected.
With a highly anticipated mini ‘heat-wave’ being promised in the upcoming weeks, caring properly for your skin is something that should be on the top of anyone’s to do list. Below are four simple ways to ensure you don’t over-expose your skin this summer, boosting your chances of keeping skin healthy and looking younger for longer.
- Wear practical clothing…
A simple technique to avoid strong solar radiation is to wear sensible, skin-covering clothing, suitable for the environment around you. Loose culottes and kimonosare very popular this summer, providing adequate ventilation as well as cover from the sun’s rays. Likewise, don’t underestimate the power a simple hat can have in protecting your face from the sun’s heat. With the help of the athleisure trend, and celebs like the Kardashians, baseball caps are one of the hottest looks right now, so there is no need to compromise on your style while staying protected. At the beach or swimming pool don’t assume these garments need to come off before you get into the water; UV rays are more intense when refracted through liquid, so stay covered for as long as required.
- …And adequate sun protection!
The most popular kind of sun protection is still the classic sunscreen. But make sure that you’re using the correct SPF for your skin type, as well as the right amount to actually protect the skin. To reach the SPF level on the bottle, adults should use at least 30-40ml sunscreen for the whole body. If you have sensitive skin, if its midsummer, of if you’re in a hotter country than your skin is ordinarily used to, be sure to raise your SPF factor accordingly, and always reapply several times throughout the day.
- Allow skin to acclimatise
Ifyour skin is not used to hot weather or intense sunlight be careful about subjecting it to these factors too quickly. Allow it time to become accustomed to more intense solar levels to avoid any nasty sensations or shocks. Keep sunbathing to shorter periods of time in the first instances, and avoid being in the sun too long during its peak (between 10am-4pm in the northern hemisphere).
- Avoid sun beds
Straight-up great advice; sun beds should be avoided! It has been proven time and again that simulated solar radiation can drastically increase the risk of developing harmful diseases such as skin cancer. Such intense solar levels,coupled with a lack of protection, not only increase the risk of cancer, but also age the skin faster than usual. Some among us use sunbeds ahead of holidays in an attempt to acclimatise skin by creating a base layer of tan. However due to the intensity at which sunbeds work, this is not a sensible approach. A far better option is to follow the advice above and slowly acclimatise your skin whilst on location, timing exposure and ensuring skin is never exposed to levels which are too intense.
Although we often only assume that sunscreen needs to be worn in summer, it is very important that you apply it all year round. Harmful UV rays are emitted in all weather. Even in cloudy weather, it has been found that up to 80% of these rays can penetrate into your skin. Admittedly, sunscreen is not always pleasant to wear day-to-day. However, a good alternative would be to invest in a foundation/powder or cream that has a good level of SPF. There are many choices nowadays, not all are expensive and your skin is definitely something not worth compromising on.
The Style Team would like to thank ABCD Agency for their help with writing this article.