Borealis Natural Skincare’s in-house expert, Linda Horan, gives us her opinion
Try to avoid sun bathing or long periods of exposure between noon and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest. Choose a sun protection cream, lotion or oil suitable for your skin type and ensure it has not passed its sell by date as this may affect the preservative and active (sun factor) ingredients in the product. There is confusion around the protection SPF can give. As a general guideline, the differential between SPF 15 and SPF 50 is 5%.
Sunscreens help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Left - This is what you should be avoiding looking like - Hulk Hogan
UVB damage results in sunburn, while UVA rays, penetrate the skin more deeply, and are associated with skin ageing (photoaging). They may also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer which is on the increase. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB so it’s essential you understand the star rating (UVA) and the SPF rating.
15 - 1/15 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 93%.
30 - 1/30 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 97%.
50 - 1/50 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 98%.
So, if you wear no sun protection, it takes 20 minutes for skin to start turning red. If you use an SPF 15 sunscreen, it theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer - around five hours.
What are the active ingredients used in SPF lotions?
It varies depending on whether the product uses a natural SPF such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Borealis Natural Skincare uses Red Raspberry Seed Oils in some of its moisturisers as this provides some level of protection.
UVA-protecting sunscreen ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl SX
Which foods are good for your skin when it has been exposed to the sun?
Red and orange fruit and vegetables are packed with carotenoids, which may help to reduce sunburn intensity. So, carrots, beetroot, peppers, oranges etc. all have beneficial qualities as well as tasting great and hydrating you.
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce damage caused by UVA light.
Omega 3 fatty acids contained in salmon & other types of fish, nuts, such as walnuts and oils guard against sunburn and cell damage.
How can you help your skin recover from sunburn?
It depends on the severity. If you feel severe dehydration, nausea and severe blistering, you need medical help. Often the effects of sunburn aren't felt until 5-6 hours after exposure. Cool the skin down with a cool flannel, ideally the cool water should have a couple of drops of pure lavender in to help reduce inflation, cool skin and help with itching. Calamine lotion also helps to reduce itching and the irritation that accompanies it. Pure aloa vera (not perfumed) hydrates and cools and nourishes the skin. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen help reduce inflammation. Stay out of the sun until the blistering has healed and no other symptoms remain.
How can you help your skin recover from long-term sun damage?
Keep covered in the sun. Wear a sunscreen every day, including the winter months. If you have sun damage on the face and neck area wear at least a broad spectrum SPF 25 daily. Exfoliate gently. Some people opt for 'chemical peels' to remove the layer of skin cells including top layer of brown spots. Glycolic acid is an active ingredient that removes several layers of dead cells. Other treatments include Botulinum toxin type A, dermabrasion, intense pulsed light therapy. Generally these would only be available privately.
Superfoods are just as important to feed your skin from the inside, so, Omega 3, 6 & 9 oils, lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein all help to restore the lusture to skin. Supplements may help depending on age and overall health and eating habits.
How does your skincare regime differ throughout the different seasons?
During the winter months I still use a broad spectrum SPF moisturiser, but I would use a night moisturiser particularly if my skin is very dry from central heating, wind etc. Also get some natural sunlight as it is easy to miss out on Vitamin D and sunlight in winter, which helps give a glow and improve skin condition.
Dr Perricone's new Photo Plasma protects against the 10 most common skin aggressors including UV damage, chemical irritants, dehydration, pollution, smoke, free radicals and extreme cold. The moisturiser is pink due to its ‘magic’ ingredient, a powerful anti-oxidant called astaxanthin. Natural astaxanthin, from microalgae, is found in abundance in arctic marine environments and is common to fresh water rock pools throughout the world. It is what gives the pink and red colour to salmon, shrimp and lobster. However, animals depend on their diet to obtain astaxanthin and other carotenoids since they cannot produce carotenoids themselves. Because the microalgae often grows in places that are exposed to intense sunlight during its dormant phase, astaxanthin functions to protect the cell nucleus against free radicals generated by UV radiation that would otherwise cause damage to its DNA.
TheChicGeek says “It’s during the summer months that we think about SPFs and skin protection, while it should be something we continue to use all year round. I’d been looking for a new day moisturiser with a high SPF all summer and finally I’ve often found it. This has a high SPF at 30, which is terrific, there is no tackiness or heaviness, and I love it.
"With previous Perricone moisturisers, I found them too rich for my skin leading to breakouts and more suited to older feminine skin. This is light, has great consistency and unlike other mineral sunscreens, which often block the pores, it didn't give me spots. Your face is getting great protection from the sun, which is one of the main causes of aging and hyperpigmentation, plus the added benefits listed above. This could be the ultimate day moisturiser.”
Above - Perricone MD – Photo Plasma - £54
Nivea Sun's Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist is the first aerosol sun screen from Nivea that gives skin immediate sun protection and provides a wonderful refreshing cooling sensation. Spritzed on in a fine mist that helps cool hot bodies, this innovative formula contains menthol which creates a natural cooling sensation when sprayed onto skin.
From the experts at Nivea it has a unique 360 degree valve that can be used from all angles - upside down, sideways and behind your back, making it easy to protect even hard to reach places. The continuous spray action releases fine droplets that give a light, even layer of sun protection all over the body, without feeling sticky or leaving white marks.
Nivea Sun has responded to a consumer demand with this latest innovation as research has shown that some of the top features people look for in a sun protection product include convenience, ease of use and pleasurable application. Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist is available in SPF 20, SPF 30 and SPF 50.
TheChicGeek says "If you want guys to use your product and more of it, it needs to be quick and easy. This ticks both boxes. I don't think many people realise that the majority of sun products take about 20 mins to start to work, so they need to put them on before they go out in the sun. With this, it works instantly, which is great and the cooling effect actually makes you look forward to using it, which is a major plus for sun protection. The consistency is good and doesn't feel heavy. As with all sun protection, remember - lots & often."
Above - Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist SPF20 - £14.29, SPF30 - £15.40, SPF50 - £17.35
‘How to check your moles’ by Anna Gucova of The MOLE Clinic
A little bit of sunshine is good for our health, but the problems arise when we’ve basked in it a little too generously. With sunshine slowly breaking through the clouds, we’ve started to bare our skin, so why not give it a once-over whilst it’s on show?
Prolonged or excessive sun exposure can dramatically increase your chance of skin cancer – melanoma in particular as it usually starts as a mole, which is why it is important that you don’t let potentially suspicious moles go unchecked.
It’s wise to have your skin checked by an expert like The MOLE Clinic - www.themoleclinic.co.uk - once a year to check out areas you may not be able to reach or monitor easily, such as your back, or it might save time if you have a lot of moles. The important point is that you should be self-checking anyway. Here is what you should be looking out for:
• A: Look for moles that are asymmetrical in shape, where one half of the mole is unlike the other
• B: Does the mole have an irregular border? Is it scalloped, jagged or poorly defined?
• C: Is the colour of the mole different from one area to another or does it have different shades of tan, brown or black?
• D: Check the diameter of the mole to see if it is bigger than 7mm (about the size of the end of a pencil)
• E: Is the mole evolving or changing size, shape or colour?
It is really important to take note of ‘E’, as any mole that is evolving or changing needs to be examined by an expert right away. With skin cancer, only early detection saves lives – if you follow the above guidelines, it’s easy as ABCDE to keep your skin-health in check this summer.
This month we extolled the virtues of coconut oil - Click here if you have acne or problem skin, many people swear by it.
Brush on Block is a patent-pending, non-greasy, non-sticky sun-block and post treatment product that has been created to help encourage everyone to wear invisible, yet effective, sun protection on a daily basis.
Left - Brush on Block - Simply brush on high protection factor to face and bald spots
Offering instant SPF 30 broad spectrum protection, the Brush on Block is a fast and convenient way to defend against the sun's harmful rays and environmental damage. Plus unlike chemical sun creams which work by being absorbed into the skin, Brush On Block features naturally-occurring active mineral ingredients that sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays away from your body.
It contains green tea leaf extract, a natural antioxidant; safflower seed oil which functions as an emollient that moisturises and protects the skin and chamomile extract and honeysuckle that help to prevent skin inflammation and irritation that may be caused by sun exposure. Since it is not absorbed into the skin and does not contain any chemical ingredients, Brush On Block is less likely to irritate the skin or clog pores, making it ideal for people with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Susan Posnick is an accomplished beauty professional and skincare expert. She did not come to realize her true calling, however, until she was diagnosed with skin cancer in the late 90’s. It is then that her life work came clearly into focus and early research for Brush On Block commenced. Susan first began experimenting with mineral powder skin products over a decade ago. She was quickly attracted to the natural components, ease-of-application, instant coverage, and non-irritating attributes of mineral formulations. After developing a line of high-end mineral powder cosmetics, a mineral-based sunscreen that was suitable for the entire family seemed like a natural encore.
Brush On Block is perfect for thinning hair or bald spots, and can be taken anywhere and reapplied with ease throughout the day.
Brush on Block - £23
The penny has finally dropped, the future isn’t orange. And while some areas of Britain are finally coming around to the idea that sun beds are a bad thing and looking deeply tanned isn’t the secret portal to beauty, other areas are carrying on regardless and opening up a Great British tanning divide.
According to research by Kantar Worldpanel, in Scotland, the number of grooming treatments bought by men has risen by three quarters, the biggest increase anywhere in Britain and a fifth of these were sessions on the sunbed. Meanwhile Welsh men combined a fondness for tanning and waxing with hair removal accounting for nearly half of all male treatments while in London men favoured massages and skin treatments over other pampering. Tanning was out of fashion in the capital, accounting for just 6% of all treatments.
Another example of London leading the way and waiting for the others to catch up? Or is this a disparity between regions that will continue to grow? Watching programmes like Geordie Shore or TOWIE and you see guys who are very much into a tanning regime. The dark, permanently tanned look goes hand-in-hand with over blown muscles, heavage revealing T-shirts and over zealous manscaping.
Charlotte Fionda, Development Director, of the The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity (Skcin) & Skin Cancer UK says “With regard to trends in tanning and it potentially becoming more provincial, it is a difficult one as there are so many variables, but what we would say is that there have been a lot more awareness campaigns focussed on London (e.g. Our spoof campaign Computertan, targeting those desperate for a tan – fooling over 2m people into thinking they could get a tan from their computer screen, was advertised on the London underground and in London cabs, more so that anywhere else, event though it was a viral campaign! http://www.computertan.com). Also, there is a more cosmopolitan community in London and traditionally Brits in the north are perhaps seen as more pasty white and thus have more desire/social pressure to change the colour of their skin?? There is of course the potential that with the Eurotunnel, etc sunnier climes can be more frequently accessible to Londoners, where 'Northerners' may choose to top up their tans at the tanning salon when not able to get away??”
This new gulf isn’t simply a choice between tanned and pale. This isn’t saying everybody should be pale or try to be pale, it’s about maximising your natural colour. The colour of your skin is one of your main characteristics, along with eye and hair colour, it creates your aesthetic balance. Change one of these factors and you start to alter nature’s balance.
A survey by OnePoll for Confused.com in May 2012 found that 10% of men surveyed from London say Botox treatment is a vital part of looking good. Meanwhile, 22% of men in the West Midlands believe a fake tan is a crucial part of sprucing themselves up - the highest of any region.
Tanning expert James Read of www.thetantalist.com says “London is now all about the natural looking tan, it's about looking healthy with golden glowing skin but no one can guess what you have had done. This is called the Miami Tan , tanning inspiration from the TV show Miami Vice, where the skin was golden as if you had been away but it looked real and in keeping with your skintone, think Don Johnson and you are on the right track. Liverpool and Manchester still lead when it comes to dark tans.”
Men in London are finally realising that you need to lighten the dark areas instead of darkening everything to have great looking skin. One of the main problems skin suffers from is hyperpigmentation, the darkening of an area of skin usually caused by sun damage, inflammation or scarring from acne. Excess production of melanin causes these darker areas but there are products, ‘skin brightening’, proven to lighten these areas to give your skin a more uniform colouration.
Dr. Michael Ingrassia,Group Leader, Research and Development Worldwide, Lab Series Skincare for Men says “Men natural have more melanin in their skin, they undergo a more intense tanning process after sun exposure and retain it for a longer time than women.” Which makes skin brightening products even more important for men to combat the over exposure to sun and UV rays.
The deep, fake looking tan has become dated. It’s finding itself along with too much hair product and tattoos in the box marked ‘bad taste’. If you want to continue to look like a contestant on Take Me Out then read no further, otherwise try the products below and always use SPF:
Clinique’s Even Better range has introduced Skin Tone Correcting Lotion SPF20. Developed for combination and oily skin types, this new lightweight and oil-free formula improve skin’s tone and uniformity. Designed to combat dark spots and discolouration while also providing protection from the number one cause of hyperpigmentation.
Clinique - Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion SPF20 - £35
An instant revitalizing and energising serum, enriched with youth-boosting nutrients and peptides that visibly brighten skin after only one application. OSKIA’s unique dual approach actively illuminates and firms, evens skin tone, smoothes the appearance of fine lines and protects against everyday environmental, seasonal and lifestyle damage, while also providing essential cell nutrients
Oskia - Get Up and Glow - £64.50
Lab Series Power Brightening helps to reduce current skin discolouration by brightening the skin, corrects skin by working to stop barely visible dark spots that have already formed under the skin surface from becoming more visible and helps to prevent future discolouration by helping stop dark spots from forming.
Power Brightening Water Lotion - £29
Power Brightening Serum - £46
Power Brightening Eye Balm - £28
A light day lotion that diminishes the appearance of dark spots while helping protect skin against environmental aggressors.
Aveda - Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Lotion - £45