To mark National Sun Awareness Week (9th – 15th May), Abi from our favourite suncare brand Ultrasun puts some safe-in-the-sun rumours to bed…
You may have seen in the news recently about the new guidelines from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) who said there is no such thing as a safe tan. Any sunburn is a worry – take it seriously and make this summer the one where you are going to look after yourself. I can’t reiterate enough how vital it is to be aware of your specific skin’s ability to cope in sunlight and to properly protect it.
Myth 1: You have to go red before you go brown
This is one of the biggest myths out there! The moment your skin goes red it is in trauma and knows that it is under attack. By protecting properly from the sun, the tan that you get will last. Not a trauma tan where everything speeds up and your skin will start shedding very quickly, leaving you tanless in days.
Try the new Ultrasun Tinted Body SPF 30. The tinted body product is a beautiful way of getting you over those first few days until your natural tan starts to develop. Its super-sensitive formulation glides onto the body, leaving arms and legs radiant whilst helping to prevent future sun damage and reduce the risk of prickly heat – great for the first outing of summer dresses.
Myth 2: How you apply suncream doesn’t matter
Do it first thing, do it indoors, and apply plenty. Any application in direct sunlight (i.e. when you’re already on the sun lounger) increases evaporation, thus reducing protection. Apply liberally to all exposed, or potentially exposed, parts of the body. Put on at least 15 minutes before you go out – look out for easy-to-miss bits (around shoulder straps and your clothing), get a good coverage and let it sink in.
Ultrasun’s protection should stay with you around 8+ hours. However this doesn’t mean go in the sun for 8 hours – you need shade and plenty of it. Take a shade break every 1-2 hours and avoid the hottest part of the day (please!). Protection will stay even after swimming but take care – you can reapply but nothing is magic so if you are somewhere really hot be careful!
Myth 3: You don’t need to to worry about parts of your body being more vunerable than others
The most common site for men to develop a malignant melanoma is on the chest or back. For women it’s more likely on the legs. Lips are often forgotten and with no natural shade like the lower lip, the upper lip area in particular shows ageing from sun damage quicker.
The skin around our eyes is one of the thinnest and most sensitive area of the face. Ultrasun Eye is a lightweight, hydrating formula with UVA and UVB filters to protect the area where we show photo-ageing the most. You only need the smallest amount – a grain of rice is more than enough for both eyes. Apply it with your ring finger and gently pat around the area (like all Ultrasun products please apply to clean, dry skin).
And just a couple of extra tips for you…
- Shelf life: check the shelf life of your products. How long a sun cream lasts isn’t just about value, it’s about effectiveness. This time of year a sunny day arrives in the UK and we reach for what is left in the cupboard. Most suncare products have an average shelf life of 6-12 months, but with Ultrasun it is 2 years after opening
- Pigmentation: after wrinkles, pigmentation is the next top skin worry for women as an uneven skin tone can be ageing. Brown patches of pigmentation which appear on hands, face and décollete areas are caused specifically by UVA rays which penetrate deep into your skin. Ultrasun have developed anti-pigmentation technology for face and hands so those unsightly marks can be a thing of the past
- Shade isn’t that simple: shade given by trees and parasols only gives protection from around 70% of UV rays. Protection – applied indoors at the beginning of the day – covers all potential sun scenarios. Take a long lunch break in the shade and try to avoid sunbathing until after 3pm