How does the sun damage your skin?
The sun releases UV radiation, which over the years, ages your skin, causing its outermost layer (your stratum corneum) to thicken and harden. The result is tough, leathery skin.
How can you protect your skin from the sun?
Regular skin treatments can reduce the damaging effects of the sun but more important than treatment is prevention. This means wearing sunscreen every day to stop the sun’s harmful UV rays from reaching your skin cells.
What is the correct way to use sunscreen?
Wearing sunscreen correctly from childhood is vital to the long-term health of your skin, however, it is never too late to start.
Sunscreen works in 2 ways: by creating a physical barrier using zinc oxide to block the sun, which is why sunscreen forms a creamy, white paste, and by creating a chemical barrier to filter out damaging UV light.
To be effective, sunscreen needs to be frequently reapplied, especially after going in water or sweating profusely. The higher the SPF rating, the longer the protection you get.
The number after the SPF rating (e.g. SPF 10, SPF 20, SPF 50 etc) refers to how much longer you can stay out in the sun before your skin starts to redden compared with if you didn’t wear that sunscreen. For more on SPF ratings, read this from the Australian Academy of Science.
Is SPF makeup effective?
SPF makeup can give you a false sense of security. It doesn’t provide you with all-day protection any more than regular sunscreen does. This means you need to reapply your SPF makeup as often as you would regular sunscreen.
A helping hand
If you’re already struggling with skin problems through sun damage or otherwise, there are tailored aesthetics treatments that can reverse some of the ageing effects of the sun, pollutants and other factors, when combined with good skincare practice.