20 May 2019
How to enjoy the sun safely this summer?
We all love that sunny days are coming back! Indeed, sunlight has loads of benefits for us, and you can enjoy a great time outside when the sun is out. Yet, you’ve always been told to protect yourself from the sun since you’re little, why is that so? The sun can be your best ally and your worst enemy; the important thing is to know how to enjoy the sun & how to protect yourself at the same time! Here is why and how you should enjoy your time outside.
THE SUN HAS GREAT BENEFITS ON YOUR HEALTH
1.It is a natural mood lifter
It's a scientific fact! When you are exposed to the sun, your brain releases a hormone called serotonin. You may not know its name, but you may have noticed its effects: it is a natural mood stabiliser that lower your anxiety and depression leaving you more relaxed and carefree.
2.Improve your bone health
Bone’s health is strongly related to your level of Vitamin D and the sun plays a significant role there again. Here, it’s the UVB that matters; it will allow the skin to create Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential as it helps the body to use the calcium from the diet, hence its impact on bone’s strength. So if you want to avoid bone pain and muscle weakness, the sun is your best friend!
3.Sunlight prevents cancer
Yes, you read well! Even though the sun is well known to be the cause of skin cancer, moderate exposure can indeed help with preventing from other types of cancer such as colon, ovarian and pancreatic. It’s all a matter of finding the right balance and protection.
4.It is a natural treatment against some skin conditions
Psoriasis, eczema or acne, all of them can be improved by the sunlight, according to the World Health Organisation . So don’t be afraid to let your skin take some fresh air!
WHY YOU STILL HAVE TO WEAR SUN PROTECTION
If being exposed to the sun is so good, why should you worry about sun protection? Sunburns are surely the first thing that will come to your mind, but UV rays have way more consequences on your skin than you can imagine!
Let’s start with the beginning: you probably know that the primary goal of any sunscreen is to block the UV rays. However, there are different types of UV and they don’t have the same impact on your skin cells. The sun light originally got 3 types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC, but these last are fully absorbed by the atmosphere and do not reach the earth surface. So your skin is actually only exposed to UVA and UVB. Now in order to understand why you have to wear sunscreen, let’s explain what would happen if you don’t!
Those are the one you are the most exposed to when taking the sun. Indeed, once the sunlight penetrates the earth atmosphere, 95% of its UVs are UVA.
The UVA penetrates the second layer of the skin where it will activate the melanocytes, cells into your epidermis which produce melanin and therefore, allow tanning. However, you must always be careful and protect your skin from them as it causes wrinkles, sunspots and other skin damages. Which is why we are always advising to wear SPF every day!
The other UVs present in sunlight are UVB, which are not able to cross the superficial layer of the skin. Nevertheless, these are the one with the highest risk: they are responsible for most sunburns, skin cancers and can even damage the DNA of your skin. When heading out without protection, it can take only 15 min for the skin to be damaged if unprotected!
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN AGAINST UV DAMAGE?
To begin, it can be interesting to know which skin type you are! According to the Fitzpatrick scale, there are 6 skin phototypes, going from lighter to darker pigmentation.
Skin Phototypes 1&2: play it safe with a SPF 50…
If you recognized yourself in one of the 2 first phototypes, then your skin leaks pigmentation, and therefore you are more likely to develop skin cancer.
That’s why you should ALWAYS wear a full protective sunscreen when exposed to the sun.
The best routine for you is to use a SPF 50, at least! Apply it 15 to 30 min prior to going outside and before you put your clothes on. From then, you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours! If you’re heading to the beach, you should have used at least the equivalent of one golf ball of sunscreen to cover your whole body! If you didn’t, go for a second round ;)
For the face, you can either use the same than above (remember to avoid your eye contour) or look for a more specific one. For example, Photoderm MAX Cream SPF 50+ is lovely for dry skin. You may also prefer Photoderm MAX Aquafluide SPF 50+: ideal for oily skin or if you go for a run!
They’re little extra: they also come in tinted versions, ideal for keeping your glow in every situation ;)
To protect cells against sun exposure post-effects, use an after sun that will soothe and hydrate your skin.
Skin Phototypes 3 to 6: be safe and still enhance your tan
Tanning is a natural process of the skin: it releases melanin which purpose is to create a darker pigmentation on your skin to act like a shield agains Uvs. Tan is not linked to sunburn, in which case your cells have been damaged/burned by the UV rays and created this red marks. So yes, you can tan & protect your skin!
Even if you have a darker Skin Phototype, you recommend you to use the above routine: there is nothing like too much protection.
But if you are looking for something that will help your tan, you definitely want to go with the Photoderm BRONZ SPF 50+. Like most of our body sunscreen, it has a SPF 50+ in it but presents the advantage to be a dry oil formulated with active ingredients that will activate your natural tanning. This product is not suitable for people with skin type 1 or 2 . Indeed, those types of skin are naturally unable to produce enough melanin. Just as everybody, reapply your sunscreen after 2 hours at least, and after each swim; it is the golden rule!
Then, once home, moisturise your skin and prolong your tan with Photoderm After Sun.
You’re now ready to go! Nevertheless, if you also have a little ones to take care of, be aware that the sun does not affect kids the same way it affects your adults’ skin. Indeed, babies' and children's skins are particularly vulnerable because not strong enough yet. To be sure your children are enjoying the sun safely outside, find here all our recommendations.