Living in the United Kingdom often means building your plans around the weather, so it pays to be prepared. Getting ready for the summer means you’ve probably already pulled your shorts and sandals out of storage, but with heat waves set to roll across the country over the coming months, you should also be stocking up on summer skincare essentials.
In previous articles, we’ve touched on the importance of sunscreen, but with temperatures soaring this summer, it’s about time we went further than skin deep on the issue. It’s not a new invention - ancient Egyptians used jasmine to shield their skin from the sun, but sunscreen as we know it today was developed in the 1930s, and has improved over the years.
Now, we all need a bit of sun sometimes - it helps produce vitamin D, which is great for stronger and healthier bones, and it can even help ward off depression and regulate your blood pressure - but unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to damage.
It Protects Your Skin
With the ozone layer depleting, UV rays are finding it easier than ever to make their way down to our exposed skin, raising the likelihood of sunburn. To protect yourself from the nasty red stuff, you need to bring SPF 15 (at the very least) into your skincare routine. Some doctors even recommend nothing lower than SPF 30, to be used every day.
It doesn’t matter in what order you choose to apply your skincare products, as long as they’re applied about fifteen minutes before you leave the house. Some people find it easiest to apply it to bare skin, so if you’re going to add makeup or moisturiser, maybe start with sunscreen.
It Lowers Risk
One of the most common forms of cancer is skin cancer, with 71,943 people diagnosed in 2013. Applying sunscreen every day has been shown to cut the risk of developing melanomas of the skin by half.
To protect your face, neck, arms and legs, you’ll need a generous squeeze of sunscreen - enough to completely cover your palm. Makeup with a high SPF isn’t enough to protect your skin, unless you’re willing to wear an ounce of it - better to start with a standalone sunscreen and then add the makeup afterwards.
It Prevents Premature Aging
Sun damage can cause photoaging of the skin, that thick, leathery look with discoloration and a breakdown of collagen. Less collagen means more lines, wrinkles and sagging. Studies have shown that people below the age of 55 who apply sunscreen every day have a 24% less change of developing these signs of aging.
Up to 80% of the sun’s skin-damaging UV rays can pass through clouds, so even when it’s overcast, you should maintain your sunscreen health care habits. When it doubt, always wear sunscreen. To protect against sun, wind and cold - whatever the weather - reach for Ultrasun SPF30 Lip Protection, made with plant oils to provide intensive care and moisture.
It Maintains Tone
Sunscreen is one of the ways you can prevent discoloration and dark spots as a result of sun damage, which means your skin will stay smoother and more even.
Generally, you’ll want to apply sunscreen every two hours - especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating. However, if you work indoors and you’re not sitting next to a window, you might not need a second application - just be mindful of when you’re going to step outside, and maybe keep some active sun protection at your desk to be safe - so if you nip to the gym on your lunch break, you’ll have something quick and easy to apply that’ll keep you safe from the sun.
Taking care of your skin is crucial to ensuring we continue looking and feeling our best as we get older, and one of the most important stages of your skincare routine should absolutely be your sunscreen. Remember to apply it every day, and don’t be tempted to drop below SPF15.