Humans need sun-light. We need it to produce Vitamin D which is essential for strong bones and lots of other important body functions. Feeling its warmth on our backs gives us a wonderful glow and generally makes us feel good about the world. However there is a down side to too much sun, whether it is incidental or by purposefully encouraging a tan by sun-baking or using a solarium damage occurs deep in our skin where the new cells are made and this influences the rate at which our skin ages and the overall health of our skin.
Our skin is designed to allow UV light to be absorbed and has a system in place to deal with any extra that penetrates. The problem for us is that when we have too much our skin has to work hard to ensure this system is efficient and over time we wear it down and you begin to show the signs of ageing: pigmentation/brown spots, wrinkles and general loss of tone and texture. What actually happens is that the cells are damaged from oxidative stress; similar to rust in a car exposed over time to sea air and lack of care. Damaged cells have changed DNA and although there is dermal cell turnover every 21 days (when you are young and healthy) the new cells will also be damaged and with repeated UV exposure there is an increase in cellular death rate. This causes a thinning of the dermis with a corresponding decrease in the quantity of collagen and elastin holding everything together, a corresponding decrease in the water holding capacity both in and around the cells and a decrease in dermal blood flow. This results in less nutrients and oxygen feeding your skin which compounds the situation.
So our skin becomes:
- Thinner at first and then appears thicker the more sun-damaged we become. This is the leathery look and is attributed to a build up of the keratin layer of the skin as the body tries to protect itself from more damage.
- Coarse, dry, loose and saggy as collagen breaks down.
- Pigmented with uneven tone and darkened areas as increased amounts of melanin are produced as the cells try to naturally protect themselves.
- Wrinkly as the damage causes cell renewal to slow even more than with the natural aging process.
- Lined with visible capillaries as the smallest blood vessels become deformed and are more visible from thinning of the skin.
- More likely to develop skin cancers of all varieties!!
Having healthy skin on the inside slows the visible signs of aging on the outside. If you are concerned about your skin and would prefer to age in a slow, healthy and graceful manner the first thing to do is avoid the damaging UV’s especially UVA.
- Avoid exposure-whatever the season and the weather!
- SLIP, SLOP, SLAP!
- Avoid outside activities during the middle of the day.
- Choose to use sun blocks rather than sun screens where appropriate.
- Physical Sun Blocks act like a barrier to the sun’s rays. They adhere to the skin’s surface and reflect the rays away from the skin rather than chemically absorbing them; like lots of microscopic mirrors all over your face. They are more water resistant and are less allergenic, irritating & won’t clog pores. As SPF is determined by a mathematical equation relating to the time taken for a chemical sunscreen to absorb UV light in the skin. Sun Blocks cannot be given an SPF; their equivalent is SPF 30+. Physical Sun Blocks usually contain some or all of these ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Zirconium Oxide.
- Chemical Sunscreens work by having a chemical reaction with the skin that changes the UV rays into heat then releases it from the skin. They are often preferred by “active” people who are concerned about sweating or rubbing off their sun protection. It can cause the skin to “heat up” though and exacerbate existing redness or irritations. Chemical Sunscreens absorb UV light within the skin and carry the chemicals in the bloodstream; they have been found up to 72 hours after application in the Liver. Chemical sunscreens may contain any of these ingredients: PABA, Octyl methoxycinnamate, Oxybenzone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Benzophenone or Avobenzene.
What else will help?
Always cover-up, eat well, drink plenty of water, don’t smoke and to improve your skin health use a safe, nourishing, transdermal (able to penetrate), skin care regime based on topical stabilised Antioxidants and Vitamin A which is of medical strength!
So, now you realise that one of the most important things regarding anti-aging and general skin health that you can do for your skin is protect it from sun damage. We realise there are many sun protection options out there… so what are the different types of sun protection and which is appropriate for you. The most important thing is to find an option that you are comfortable to USE EVERYDAY, not just when you feel forced to by the strength of the suns rays. We have provided a quick rundown on the different sun protection options by range that we offer, to make your choice with us easier. We aim to provide options that you will feel comfortable to use every morning and throughout the day without feeling greasy and congested or clogging your pores.
Aspect & Aspect Dr
- Hydra Shield SPF 15 – a lightweight everyday moisturiser with added sun protection, non-greasy feeling and easy to apply daily.
- Envirostat Dry Touch SPF 50 – a lightweight dry to the touch broad spectrum sunscreen, 4 hours water resistant so perfect for water and active lifestyles. Non-greasy and no white residue, preferred by men and active people in general.
- Reflect SPF 30 – a lightweight spray on broad spectrum sunscreen , easy to apply with a matte finish, great for wriggly children, men and acne skins. A physical block Titanium Dioxide based packed with antioxidants.
- Hydrate + SPF 17 – a moisturising broad spectrum sunscreen with age fighting properties, very nourishing for those with dry or ageing skin. Zinc based physical block.
Colorscience – easy living!
- Sunforgettable Brush SPF 50 – a lightweight mineral powder sunblock with a barely there feel that is water resistant. Easy to carry with you and apply with the self-dispensing brush – even over makeup, perfect to apply for immediate sun protection when you need it. Comes in light, medium and dark – medium suits most skins as a light coverage.
- Sunforgettable Jar SPF 50 – the same formula as the brush above, apply with a separate brush to achieve a light foundation appearance, for those who prefer a thicker coverage over on-the-go re-application. Comes in light, medium and dark – medium suits most skins as a light coverage.
- Sunforgettable Lip Shine SPF 35 – lip gloss with added sun protection, comes in clear, coral, rose and siren.
- Sunforgettable Setting Mist – Rejuvenates, revives and re-hydrates skin before and during sun exposure as well as soothing and calming skin after sun damage. Will keep makeup in place – perfect for setting mineral makeup as well as after sun care.
- Tint du Soleil SPF 30 – tinted sheer cover foundation with broad sun protection, a lightweight foundation formula that is 40 minutes water resistant, available in light, medium and tan.
- Even Up SPF 50 – A tinted moisturising primer and colour corrector that brightens the skin, evens the appearance of skin discoloration and calms redness and irritability. If you have problem skin and want something that will do all 3-in-1 then this is ideal.
Osmosis MD and Osmosis Colour
- Colour CC Cream SPF 20 – natural looking foundation with UV protection that hydrates and reduces age spots while diffusing skin discoloration, gluten and vegan free, available in 4 shades: ivory, neutral, warm and mocha.
- Protect – moisturising physical block based on zinc. Perfect for all skins.
- Actinica Liposomal Sunscreen SPF 50+ – is a medical grade sunscreen with an advanced liposomal formulation, leading the next generation in UVA & UVB protection. It is a hydrating and lightweight lotion that is medical grade.
Miessence Cerified Organic
- Reflect Outdoor Balm – the natural certified organic alternative for sun protection, non-chemical sunblock, based on zinc, it is thick to apply but great if you are worried about your overall chemical intake.