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 SUN PROTECTION

You are not wearing sunscreen because it is cloudy!????

Let me ask you if can you can see and feel UV rays? No, you can’t!

Sunlight can be seen and infrared rays are felt as warm, but you cannot see or feel UV rays and up to 90% of UV rays can get through light clouds!

And beware of those holidays! UV rays can be reflected back onto your skin by up to 80 percent (sand, sea and snow acting like mirrors)

You are not a chicken and do not need to bake yourself!

There is nothing good about this tan caused by UV rays. It burns your skin, causes cancers, wrinkles and damages your skin making you look older and gives you cataracts and blindness.

USE SUNSCREENS!

 Sunscreens are either chemical or physical.

Chemical sunscreens act to protect the skin from UV damage by absorbing UV using chemical additives such as PABA, Benzophenones, cinnamates or salicylates.

These sunscreens don’t streak your face white but can sometimes give rise to allergies on your skin due to their chemicals.

Physical sunscreens act by reflecting and scattering the UV rays, using reflective additives such as zinc or titanium. They give both UVA and UVB cover but do paint your face white!

WHAT IS SPF?

The sun protection factor, or SPF, reflects the length of time the skin can be exposed to UV rays before it goes red. A SPF of 15 means that the skin can be exposed to the sun for 15 times longer than it usually would take to become red.

WHAT IS A STAR RATING?

When you buy sunscreens from supermarkets, you look at their star rating. The stars reflect the percentage of UVA absorbed in comparison to UVB, by that particular product. A low SPF can still have 5 stars because that is a measure of that product’s ability to absorb UVA in comparison to UVB, not a measure of giving your skin protection!

So please don’t buy a low SPF product by just looking at the stars! A good choice is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 and 4 or 5 stars.

HOW DO YOU USE YOUR SUNSCREEN?

You think you have your sunscreen on.90 percent of us do not apply it the right way.

We need one ounce for full body coverage, and even then, we have to reapply it every 2 hours. The prefect way to apply it is, the right amount, applied twice, 30 min apart so we can cover all the areas we might have missed the first time around. (like painting a wall)

Practically, not a soul I know follows these recommendations!

So let’s do something more practical- wear long sleeved, tightly woven garments and wide-brimmed hats during those afternoon walks!

WHAT ABOUT VITAMIN D?

The jury is still out on this one. The WHO has classed UV rays as carcinogens.

The pharmacies are full of Vitamin D supplements. Use them to save your bones but save your skin from the sun.

Finally, I recommend reading the British Association of Dermatologists webpage on their guidance to sunscreens.

Follow the link below.

http://www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/skin-cancer/sunscreen-fact-sheet#uva-star-system

At BeautyWorks London, we stock a range of clinic only sunscreens, from leading manufacturers, such as Obagi, Alumier and Tebiskin. They are hypoallergenic, and they work!

My personal favourites are the tinted Obagi Sun Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF50, which provide UVA & UVB protection from the sun and defence against infrared (IR) solar radiation. They have been developed for fairer skins with both cool and warm skin tones

Obagi also offers us the more traditional physical Sun Block SPF32 with 18% zinc oxide that provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Don’t forget to stock up before the summer holidays!

Copyright protection.
Dr Surbhi Virmani

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