When it’s a hot day and the sun is high and bright, we all crack out the sunscreen. We remember to put it on because we associate hot and sunny days with burning our skin and we want to protect it.
However, the sun emits two forms of harmful rays, and it’s a threat all year round and not just on hot sunny days.
UVB – Ultraviolet B
These are the rays that can burn the superficial top layers of our skin. Some skin types are more resistant to these rays than others. These rays are also the ones linked to skin cancers. Sun burnt skin can be painful but can also cause permanent damage over time. Your body produces melanin as a way of protecting your skin and trying to block the harmful rays from penetrating it – it’s the melanin that shows in the skin as a tan. It’s the UVB that most of us are protecting ourselves from when we apply sunscreen.
UVA – Ultraviolet A
These are the rays that penetrate deep into our skin and damage the collagen fibers. It’s these rays that cause our skin to age. By damaging the collagen, the skin tries to rebuild itself and over time malfunctions leading to incorrectly rebuilt skin forming wrinkles. Sunscreen is also protecting our skin from these rays, but these rays are present all year round.
90% of skin aging is attributed to UVA rays
What should we know about UVA?
- – UVA rays don’t just come from the sun, they are also emitted by TV’s, computers, lamps, lightbulbs, phone screens etc.
- – The ray can penetrate clothing
- – They don’t just come directly from the thing that’s emitting it. UVA rays can bounce off surfaces and go through car windows and windscreens – even when tinted
- – It destroys vitamin A in our skin
- – It damages and depletes the collagen in our skin
- – UVA rays are so strong they can penetrate clouds, so are present all year around
How do we protect ourselves from UVA and aging?
There is only really one way to help protect our skin from UVA rays and premature aging, and that is by using sun screen every day. The sunscreen used needs be over factor 15 and have a high UVA star rating.
We advise using sunscreen on your face every day as part of your normal morning routine.
The ‘factor’ of a sunscreen details its ability to protect our skin from UVB rays.
UVA protection comes in the form of a star rating that is completely separate to the ‘factor’ rating. UVA protection is rated from 0-5 stars.
‘Factor’ and UVA rating are not always related.
But sunscreen is too heavy for my face…
People often avoid using sunscreen on their faces because they think the cream will be too heavy or thick. Or, they rely on a foundation with factor 15 sun protection in. The issue with foundations with a sun protection factor is that they are only protecting the skin from UVB rays and not the ageing UVA rays.
Our recommended sunscreen
Most sunscreens are chemical based. They sink into and are absorbed by our skin. This actually reduces their overall protection level, as well and depositing the chemicals into our bodies.
We recommend a mineral, zinc-based sun protection cream for your face. This will give you more protection and be kinder to your skin health in general.
Sunscreen should be applied to the face after your usual moisturiser or serum and before foundation or powder.
We stock Aluimer MD mineral sunscreen. It comes in three different formulations; Sheer Hydration, Moisture Matt and Clear Shield.
Sheer Hydration and Moisture Matt come in tinted options which is especially good for on holiday when you don’t want to be wearing much make-up and will need to reapply your sunscreen during the day.
Get in touch or drop into our Leicester clinic to explore our Sunscreen options.