Summer is now fast approaching and skin will now start to be revealed. How can we enjoy the few months of the year of bright sunshine, without causing excessive damage to our exposed areas of skin and increase our risk of skin cancer?
Avoiding the sun entirely is just simply out of the question as we are exposed to the sun despite our greatest efforts. Besides that, we want to enjoy the summer sun!
Of course, wearing protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and limiting our exposure whenever possible is still essential. However we can help to protect our skin when exposure is unavoidable.
Two products used simultaneously and on a daily basis can help us have the best of both worlds; enjoy the summer while providing protection that will help maintain the integrity of our skin.
These two products are:
1) Sunscreen and
2) Vitamin C serums.
How do they protect our skin?
To understand why sunscreen is effective skin protection from the harmful rays, we must first understand what we are protecting ourselves from.
Damaging ultraviolet rays come in two forms; UVA and UVB. UVA are wavelengths that can pass through glass and the ozone layer. It penetrates deeper into the skin, thus causing brown spots and premature wrinkling (aging rays).
UVB wavelengths are the ones that are responsible for the visible damage that occurs on our skin in the form of sunburns from overexposure (burning rays) and cannot pass through glass.
Both UVA and UVB rays are invisible to the eye and can be a risk for cancer.
A good quality sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30 and both UVA and UVB protection. This is indicated on the bottle, by the words “Broad Spectrum”, or says UVA and UVB protection.
This sunscreen should be applied on all exposed areas of the body at least 15 minutes before venturing out into the sun, and reapplied throughout the day approximately every 2 hours, or after sweating or swimming.
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic Acid) applied topically to the skin is another product that helps to protect the skin from damage. This powerful antioxidant helps in many ways to boost the effectiveness of sunscreens.
Free radicals that attack and damage healthy cells are present in the environment naturally but are dramatically multiplied by way of ultraviolent rays, pollution and oxygen.
Vitamin C is a natural ingredient that not only helps to ward off these free radicals by preventing them from attaching to healthy cells, but also helps to repair already damaged cells. Vitamin C also reduces pigment formation, facilitates collagen formation and reduces water loss, thereby acting as a moisturizer.
Vitamin C typically comes in the form of a serum and should be applied directly to the skin underneath moisturizers and sunscreens. In order to ensure that a Vitamin C serum is effective, it should indicate that it contains L-ascorbic Acid and must have a high enough concentration present, in 10%, 15% or 20%. Apply in the morning for 24 hour protection.
Following these recommendations will help to protect the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Although complete avoidance is unrealistic protecting your skin’s health is essential for an individual’s overall wellbeing.