When it comes to sun protection, did you know that it’s not a moisturiser you need as the last step in your morning skincare regime? It’s a sunscreen.
Yep, applying sunscreen regularly is the single most important anti-ageing step in your skincare, today and every day. Now’s the time to make “daylight protection” a part of your daily regime.
WHY? Harmful, ageing UV damage reaches us all day long, outdoors or indoors (through glass), in the sun or in the shade, which is why sun protection is so important. After 40+, you’re really going to start seeing the damage sun and environmental exposure has had over the years (as any damage takes up to 20 years to appear), but it’s never too late to start to care and repair. Knowing what suits your skin, when enough is enough, how your skin reacts, and changing UV behaviour before your skin even says “enough”, is the key.
Follow these 5 tips for better sun protection…
Keep out of the midday sun
If you’re on holiday, you don’t need to skip the beach or pool altogether, but it’s important to stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is the highest in the sky and transmitting the most UVA and UVB rays. Also, research has shown that you can burn the most at midday in a very short space of time, in fact, in as little as 10 minutes.
Apply enough sunscreen
Studies show that most people apply half the amount of sunscreen they need to fully protect themselves. To cover an average adult body, you should apply at least six teaspoonfuls – although this may vary for gels and sprays. Always apply liberally and put it on 15 to 30 minutes before going into the sun to allow it to be absorbed. Reapply at least every two hours. Which sunscreen to use? Always look for a 30+ SPF, and one with both UVA and UVB protection.
Boost your antioxidants
If you really want to up the ante and protect your skin from UV damage, boosting your antioxidant levels with vitamins C and E can help to protect cells from UV damage. Take for a month before your holiday and while you’re there.
Try Vitaforce Ultra Vitamin A-Z, R140 for 60 tablets, which has vitamins C and E, plus skin-protecting carotenoids like lutein and lycopene in the mix.
Too late? Fix the first signs of burn by dabbing on neat lavender essential oil, then add a few drops of the oil to a cool bath and soak for 15 minutes.
If you can’t stay in the shade, protective clothing is your best bet to steer clear of sunburn. According to the American Cancer Society, Clothes provide different levels of UV protection. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing. Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric.
It’s also important to wear a wide-brimmed hat rather than a peak cap, as this will offer more protection for your neck and Décolletage. This Wide-Brim Straw Boater Hat, R170, is made with an adjustable sweatband for a better fit.
Stay safe on cloudy days
UV rays reach the ground all year, even on cloudy or hazy days. so don’t be fooled by an overcast day. In fact, some people experience more intense sun burn on cloudy days because 80% of the sun’s UVA light can shine through.