How to Keep Your Skin Safe This Summer
Here at Illuminate we are still regularly shocked by how many of our patients look forward to tanning over the summer. Don’t get us wrong – we all love the warmth, being outside and feeling the sun on our skin. But lying there baking in it scares us. Sun exposure doesn’t just have implications for the quality of your skin and how you age. We regularly see patients with skin cancers on their face or body, from years of UV exposure without understanding the health risks. Please remember that any tan is sun damage, unless its come out of a bottle. A tan is caused when our body realises that DNA damage is being caused by the UV light, and extra melanin is formed to create a sort of ‘umbrella’ and protect our DNA.
So with that in mind, here are Dr Sophie’s top tips for how to stay safe whilst still enjoying the beautiful weather we hope is in store for us this year:
- Lather on the SPF – Every day, summer or winter, you should have an SPF on exposed areas. This should be at least an SPF 30, but preferably an SPF 50 with great UVA protection as well. My personal choice is the Heliocare 360 AirGel, which gives the most comprehensive block I think I’ve ever seen. None of us ever apply enough sunscreen, but if as a rule you apply about a thumb’s length to the face and neck that’s pretty good going. If it’s a warm day please keep reapplying throughout the day, and if you’re on holiday reapply after every time you get in the water.
- Seek Shade – If you are out and about in the UK or on holiday, try not to just lie outside and bake in the sun. Find a parasol, wear a hat and sunglasses. This way you still feel the delicious warmth on your skin but minimise your risk of burning.
- Protect yourself inside as well as out – Over the summer months think about taking a supplement like the Heliocare 360 capsules. These contain a potent mix of antioxidants which will help protect your skin from the inside. Not only will they decrease your chances of burning together with the right SPF, but they are also very helpful for anyone who struggles with heat rash.
- Antioxidants – Adding in a great antioxidant serum to your morning skin regime will not just mop up free radicals, but can also make your sunscreen upto 4 times more effective. Our personal favourites are the Neostrata Antioxidant Defence Serum and the Obagi Professional C Serums.
- Stay Hydrated – By this I mean lots of water, but also adding in Skinade to your regime. This will stimulate better internal hydration to keep your skin looking less like a dried out crisp. You can also add in some powerful medical facials over the summer months to keep your skin looking dewier and fresher.
So please go out and enjoy every bit of nice weather we get, but stay safe while you’re doing it. We only get one body and we need to look after it!
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.