Summer – we love it or we don’t! Either way it effects us in many ways. How we live our life, what we eat and drink, how much exercise we get, how our skin feels and how our skin ages. Whether yours ages more slowly or more rapidly than your pre-determined genetic rate depends on how you look after it.
As Australians and mainly coastal dwellers, we all know that a large portion of our summer will be spent outdoors; at the beach, pool, park, walking track, cheering at the cricket or watching Roger Federer win again – the list goes on. We also think we know all about sun protection and how important it is to apply sunscreen – but how seriously do we really take proper sunscreen application?
We still have people come into the clinic and when we suggest they use a daily sunblock they ask “why? I’m not going to the beach?” . Skin damage, which translates as ageing, is 95% caused from penetrating UV rays – and guess what? They are everywhere whether it is hot or not!
Shockingly, when we think we’re applying sunscreen correctly, research shows that we still miss certain parts of our body – even if we consciously apply sunscreen knowing we miss those places! The University of Liverpool conducted an experiment in which participants applied sunscreen as they would usually. The results showed that participants missed 9.5% of their faces – particularly in the area across the bridge of the nose and in the corner of the eyes (the Medial Canthal Region). After being told that they missed this important part, participants still missed 7.7% of their face.
It’s pretty annoying to find that after you have gone to the trouble of applying sunblock regularly throughout a day in the sun, you get home to find you have sunburnt bits! The parts of the body which are easily missed, hard to reach or that we forget to do. They are as important as anywhere – so, we’ve made you a list to increase your awareness and your skills.
You could print it and keep it on the fridge or in your beach bag, so you’re more likely to remember!
The lucky 13 areas we know about, starting at the top of your body and working down
1. Bald spots and part lines – keep that hat on, but running a line of block-out along your part lines and thinning areas is a smart move too
2. Between the eyes and extra care is needed for the tip of the nose – it’s closer to the sun! Top up with the Colorescience Lip shine in Clear SPF35 and pop on your sunnies
3. Tops and around the backs of ears – it’s worth a good smother to avoid the surgeon’s knife later in life
4. Lips – very thin skin, easily burnt and easy to cover. Try our Colorescience Lip shine SPF35 in clear. It’s easy to apply over your usual lippy
5. Under the chin – especially when on the water
7. Décolletage – thinner skin becomes damaged more easily showing your age faster than your face, especially regarding uneven skin tone and pigmentation
8. Hands – protect these often as just like your décolletage, they show your age very well. Wear gloves in the car, keep a stick of non-greasy block-out in your purse and create a habit of applying often. We suggest the Aspect Envirostat Dry Touch SPF 50 or Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush SPF30 Mineral Powder for touch-ups.
9. Middle of the back – as in, leaning forward when watching sport – that area between your t-shirt and shorts
10. Bikini lines – new swimsuit? More exposed? Smother under your breasts, over your pubes and tops of your thighs
11. Backs of the knees and all the legs – snorkelling can be vicious on these areas. Choose a water-proof sunblock for these days, such as Miessence Reflect – though quite thick, it’ll stay put and it’s better than burnt legs.
12. Tops of feet – sandal and thong lines with red toes are not a nice look
13. Soles of the feet – ouch!! Sunbaking (no, no!) on your tummy exposes areas we don’t often show to the sun – they hurt when burnt, so pop a towel over them if lying out
Check out our extensive choice to protect your skin on our Sun Protection page. Often the problem lies in topping up your UV protection during the day. You want a product that is quick and easy to carry in your bag or pocket.
Best Top-Up UV Blockers
- Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush SPF 30 Mineral Powder – simply brush over the top of everything and everywhere. Water-resistant for 80 minutes. Good for hard-to-reach places.
- Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip shine SPF 35 – my favourite. So easy in every regard and – well, use it on noses, lips and tops of ears.
Best UV product for men, toddlers, teens, water lovers and acne, congested skins?
Aspect Envirostat Dry Touch SPF 50 – without a doubt! A chemical sunscreen with no nasties and is non pore-clogging!
How much to apply?
A good dollop of cream – enough to give good slip, but rubs in well. If you are using a zinc-based cream that goes on white, often you need to rub it on and wait. The white, if it is a micro-zinc (as ours are), will dissipate quite quickly.
If you are using a lotion, often 2 coats are needed, waiting a minute or two between coats. This way, the first coat soaks in and the 2nd one protects on top.
Where to apply it
Over all potentially exposed areas and before you leave the house. Areas are more easily missed when you are in a hurry and you want it on and in your skin, not evaporating in the sun and heat. Don’t forget, if you are red at the end of the day – your Vitamin C serum is what you need.
If you are diligent and sensible about your UV protection, you will be helping your skin, all over your body, to age more gracefully both on the surface and deep down. You can’t start early enough to create and keep a healthy skin –
Enjoy your Summer!
Still not sure?
If you need more help or would like personalised advice on what skincare products are best for you, book now for your consultation with a skin care advisor:
Or fill in the Online Skin Consultation and Gaye, our registered nurse, will happily help you to choose the right treatments and products for your skin type or concern.
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