Photo by Matthew Henry
Did you know that UV radiation can be responsible for up to 80% of facial ageing? (1)
But the solution might be more simple than we think.
The easiest and most cost effective way to prevent premature ageing is to minimise UV damage before it occurs.
We give you 4 tangible tips you can easily do daily to help keep your skin healthy, youthful and radiant.
Firstly- what does the sun actually do to my skin?
The sun can damage your cells, destroying the collagen and elastin in your skin, causing wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation or dark spots. It can also dry out the skin, depleting essential fatty acids and hyaluronic acid. Taking some small steps now to minimise UV exposure could dramatically prevent premature ageing (and cancer) and maintain the health and vitality of your skin.
Use sunscreen daily- even if it’s cloudy. Apply to exposed skin 20 minutes prior to UV exposure, and reapply it at least every 2 hours. (2)
Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your neck, décolletage and backs of your hands, as these places are often most exposed to the sun and are some of the first places to show signs of sun damage.
Tip- To minimise affecting your makeup, reapply your sunscreen to your face with a damp beauty sponge.
2) Cover Up
Did you know UV radiation is still able to penetrate normal clothing and damage our skin? Wearing UV protective clothing is a very quick and easy way to protect yourself from the sun.
Lightweight stylish UPF50+ shirts, jackets and hats can be worn over clothing or at the beach, and gloves can be worn when driving to protect the precious backs of the hand. Also consider UPF50+ umbrellas and wear polarised sunglasses with category 3 lenses. We recommend Australian company Solbari for stylish UPF50+ clothing and hats.
3) Monitor the UV index
We understand a bit of sun can be good for us. But when UV levels are 3 or above, you may obtain adequate Vitamin D with just a few minutes of sun exposure while completing everyday tasks. (3)
We recommend downloading a UV indicator app (like SunSmart in Australia and UVNZ in New Zealand) which can tell you up-to-the-minute UV levels and help guide you on sun protection based on the level.
4) Check your product ingredients.
Use skincare products in the morning that contain Vitamin C and lipids (such as The Ultimate Moisturiser). Vitamin C neutralises free radicals from the sun (4) and lipids help strengthen and defend the skin barrier against UV radiation that causes premature ageing (5).
Also note- if you are using retinol, chemical exfoliants or some medications, your skin may be extra sensitive to the sun, so double check and take extra precautions.
(1) Flament, Frederic et al. “Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 6 221-32. 27 Sep. 2013, doi:10.2147/CCID.S44686
(4) Pullar, Juliet M et al. “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.” Nutrients vol. 9,8 866. 12 Aug. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9080866
(5) Dumbuya H, Yan X, Chen Y, Wangari-Olivero J, Lynch S, Brieva P, Zheng Q, Bouez C. ARTICLE: Efficacy of Ceramide-Containing Formulations on UV-Induced Skin Surface Barrier Alterations. J Drugs Dermatol. 2021 Apr 1;20(4):s29-s35. doi: 10.36849/JDD.2021.589E. PMID: 33852258.