With summer approaching, we wanted to share with you our best advice for keeping your skin protected and looking it’s best in the sun.
1 Check the use-by date
Avoid products that have been lurking in your bathroom cupboard, the chances are they will be off. The longer they have been opened the more the SPF level will decrease, so before you pack that old bottle from last year check that it is in date.
2 Get the full package
When choosing a sunscreen look for a high protection SPF (SPF 30 or more) to protect against UVB, and the UVA circle logo and/or 4 or 5 UVA stars to protect against UVA. A good sun cream will offer both UVA and UVB protection and is sometimes referred to as a ‘broad-spectrum’ or full-spectrum’ sunscreen. Germaine de Capuccini UV Urban shield SPF50++ is a popular SPF product that protects against pollution as well as the sun.
3 Apply properly
The British Association of Dermatologists advises it takes at least six full teaspoons, or 36 grams, to cover an average adult body properly. B.A.D warn that applying only half of this amount could reduce the protection by as much as two-thirds, and not just by half.
4 Eat your water
Dehydration is always a concern in the heat, but one way to stay hydrated is to eat. Add to your diet water-based ingredients such as cucumber, watermelon, oranges, grapefruit, and lettuce leaves. These fruits and vegetables are tasty, nutritious and hydrating, it’s a win, win for your body.
5 Beware of reflections
Snow can intensify sun radiation by up to 85%, water by up to 17% and sand by up to 5%, and this reflected UV could lead to serious skin damage if not avoided. Be strict with reapplying sun cream on a regular basis and cover up as much as possible, especially when surrounded by snow or water.
6 Know your aloe alternatives
After exposure to sunlight it is important to use after sun cream as it hydrates and repairs DNA damage. Aloe vera steals the show when it comes to after sun ingredients, but there are other effective options to choose from. Green tea has healing properties and reduces inflammation, and lavender is a soothing alternative too. Vitamin A, used in many body lotions, is nourishing and encourages skin regeneration. If you fancy changing your after sun lotion these are all worthy substitute ingredients to consider.
7 Avoid cocktails, beer and sangria
According to The Telegraph, researchers published in the British Journal of Dermatology have found that ethanol is converted to a chemical compound called acetaldehyde after it is ingested, which may act as a ‘photosensitizer’ making skin sensitive to light. This can damage cells and cause skin cancers. This research is still on-going but whatever your favourite pool-side tipple, it may be best to save drinking for the evenings.
8 Cover up correctly
You may be in the habit of draping a thin cotton shirt over your shoulders and feeling confident that you are covered in the sun. Skincancer.org explains that synthetic fibres such as polyester, lycra, nylon, and acrylic are more protective than cotton. It is also good to remember that the more vivid the colour, the greater the protection as many dyes absorb UV, which helps reduce exposure too.
9 Vitamin A’s dark secret
Although Vitamin A (or retinol) is extremely beneficial to your skin, exposure to sunlight can make this ingredient unstable. Women’s Health explains that, “When exposed to the sun’s UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer.” Although Vitamin A has anti-ageing and healing properties, body lotions with this in should only be applied at night and never before you are exposed to sunlight.
10 Know your ingredients
Many sun creams include all sorts of chemicals to prevent sun damage and filter UVA. But what effects do these substances have on your skin? PABAS such as ethyl dihydropropyl and preservatives like trisodium edita can cause skin irritation. It is worth looking for health-conscious and organic sun cream ranges which keep irritating and toxic ingredients to a minimum. All Germaine de Capuccini sun products offer the highest quality protection and avoid any nasty ingredients.