Sunday, 20 June 2010

Summer skincare

Fingers crossed this post doesn't sound like I'm preaching, here it goes....

Obviously we're in summer at the minute and looking after your skin whilst out in the sun is sooooo important.

For as long as I can remember I go out in the sun, spend all day laying about in it and don't apply any form of sun cream because "I'm only young, it won't have any effect on me". Hands up who else has said/thought this?!?! Quite a few of you I'd say.

Of course it's important to use suncreams on your body but most people seem to forget their face and if you're like me you just generally forget about suncreams full stop. But last year in my final year at uni, I was doing a degree in health and for my dissertation I chose to write about skin cancer. I'm quite a knowledgeable person but this really did enlighten me and now I always try to have some form of suncream on.

I use L'Occitane's red rice face moisturiser and when I took a close look on the packaging I was shocked that not anywhere did it mention that it contained any form of SPF (sun protection factor). Ok, so I wear foundation everyday which contains an SPF from 15 - 20 but not everyone does and now its summer I don't want heavy make-up on.

By not wearing an SPF you put yourself at risk of premature ageing, skin cancer and skin damage to name a few. Depending on your skin type everyone needs a different SPF and if you go abroad chances are you'll need a higher SPF than you would in the UK.

MYTH BUSTER: you can still tan even though you have suncream on. The higher the SPF doesn't mean the lighter tan, you're just letting more harmful rays penetrate your skin.

I went on a mission to find a face suncream which smelt nice, wasn't sticky and looked attractive. So I found this in Boots for £11.99 buy one get one free.

Hawaiian Tropic sensitive face sun lotion has an SPF of 30 and it's in a cute funky bottle which is handy to chuck in your bag for on the go use. It's also 120ml which is more than enough to last the whole summer. The only bad thing about it is that it only has a 3 star UVA rating.

UVA rays don't cause skin cancer (UVB rays do) but UVA affects the rate at which skin cancer develops so it's also vitally important to look at this when buying suncreams and not just SPF which blocks UVB rays. The maximum rating is 5 stars which is the highest you can get (all of Boots Soltan range has 5 star UVA protection). This information is found on the back in a circle.

It's also recommended that once opened you throw your suncream away after a year and buy new so that you know you're getting the full SPF protection as overtime this can breakdown meaning that an SPF 30 might only be giving you an SPF of 25 after a year of being open.

Finally, skin cancer is increasing year on year particularly in young adults so lets all try to look after ourselves as this cancer is the most preventable just by taking a few simple steps:
  1. apply suncream at least 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun
  2. cover up
  3. wear a hat
  4. stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  5. reapply suncream every couple of hours
  6. always reapply after being in water or buy a water resistant cream
That's it lecture over! Hope I haven't bored you too much and let me know if you want any more info and I'll see what I can do! Feedback on this post is also welcome (the good and the bad)!

Have a good, and safe, summer!


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