Posted on 06/12/2017
Choose the appropriate sunscreen for your lifestyle/ activities. Mineral sunscreen is great to use on a daily basis but may not address your needs in more extreme conditions. Minerals are inorganic ingredients such as Zinc and Titanium Dioxide; they sit more superficially in the skin and reflect UV. Mineral sunscreens will wipe or sweat off more easily so may not endure during swimming or exercise and therefore a chemical component in the active ingredients may be necessary. To read more about the different type of sunscreens available click here. My pick for 'in-between' top-ups is the ColoreScience mineral sunscreen - it also gives a gorgeous light coverage too! It comes in three shades that match most skin tones - I use the shade medium!
Colorescience mineral sunscreen
Apply sunscreen every 2 hours; most sunscreens won’t last longer than this. Reapplication is more important than the SPF rating.
Use antioxidants in conjunction with your sunscreen; unlike sunscreens which will either reflect or absorb UV, antioxidants will neutralise the damaging free radicals created by UV. Unless stopped or neutralised a free radical can cause a cascade of damage to the skin cell and evidently the appearance of skin. A variety of antioxidants are necessary but should include Vitamin C and E. Vitamin C helps protect the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres and is also an integral part of the skin's production of more collagen. Vitamin E helps recycle Vitamin C. My top antioxidant choices are the following:
Aspect Dr Active C serum
Environ C Boost
Skin Medica C and E
Use an antioxidant ‘spritz’ through the day to help keep reducing inflammation and damage. My choice is the Cosmedix Reflect sunscreen.
If pigment is a problem use an additional serum with melanin transfers inhibitors and tyrosinase inhibitors. Your Medical Skin Therapist is likely to prescribe one of the following:
Skin Medica Lytera
Cosmedix Simply Brilliant
Cover up; even with sunscreen and reapplication you should limit your time in the sun. Sunscreens are exactly that, a screen not a block, so remember you will still potentially create some damage to the skin.
Remember sitting by a window in an office or car will still mean you are getting UV so protection is still necessary. Use sunscreens every day and reapply.
Keep the skin well hydrated; dehydration leads to impaired skin cell function. All cells need a fluid environment to communicate in an effective, healthy way. Hyaluronic acid is a natural hydrating component in the skin and creates passageways to allow cell messaging. Using Vitamin A will help stimulate your natural hyaluronic acid whilst a topical hyaluronic serum is great if you need an extra boost. I also suggest increasing your Omega 3 with good quality fish oils and drinking plenty of water; fish oils will help you retain water as well as act as an anti-inflammatory when taken at significant doses.
Sunscreen protocol - make sure you open a fresh bottle of sunscreen every summer otherwise the active ingredients will lose its efficacy. Apply it 20 minutes prior to going outside; it needs some absorption time to be fully effective and make sure you apply liberally and thoroughly before dressing, to avoid missing areas.
As I mentioned at the beginning, chemical and physical sunscreens have entirely different methods of protection. Again, depending on your activities, I do suggest doubling up and using both a physical and a chemical sunscreen at the same time! First I would use a chemical sunscreen which absorbs the sun's rays and protects against the full spectrum of UVA damage. Once dry, I would then slather on a physical block such as Jane Iredale mineral makeup or CosMedix Reflect.
From your Skin Team Leader,
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