We all know that donning your bathing suit and heading down to the beach without any SPF protection for a day in the sun is a bad idea. It increases your risk of sun damage which can increase your risk of skin cancer and also can prematurely age your skin. But exposing your skin to the sun, even when it isn’t shining brightly, can also damage your skin.
Summer glow: safest ways to get an even tan this season
What a summer we’ve had so far! One scroll through instagram and you’ll likely be inundated with photos of people showing off their ‘summer glow’. Now we know that instagram isn’t a reliable source of unedited reality! It’s everyone’s best angles and lots of filters! But we also know that many of us strive to get that ‘summer glow’ - a lightly bronzed glow to our skin that exudes health and well being. But how safe are our tanning habits? Is it possible to get a healthy summer glow without putting our skin at risk? We decided to find out more about the best way to get an even tan.
Sun Exposure - The Risks
UVA and UVB Rays - The Difference
The sun gives out two UV rays - UVB is what causes sunburn and UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, but also attacks collagen and elastin, prematurely ageing the skin.
How your skin gets a ‘tan’
Let’s get scientific for a minute and look at what actually happens when your skin tans in the sun. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s UV radiation, it reacts by producing more melanin, the pigment in your skin, to protect your skin cells against further damage. So any change of colour is a sign of burning. Redness and peeling is a sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun, and this can have lasting effects on the skin.
Why it’s not safe to get a tan from the sun’s rays
Tanning in the sun’s rays without any SPF protection leaves your skin open to sun damage and exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. When your skin burns it changes the DNA of your skin cells. This over time can increase your risk of skin cancers. That’s why you should always apply sunscreen when going out in the sun, even if it doesn’t appear to be that sunny.
Getting a safe, even tan in the sun
Now we aren’t saying to not spend any time in the sun at all. It is summer and for once we are seeing a lot of the sun! But you should make sure you apply sunscreen when you’re in the sun and choose a sun protection cream that will protect your skin effectively.
Understanding SPFs and choosing the right one for your summer glow
The first thing to say about SPFs (sun protection factors) is that they only refer to how long a sunscreen will protect you against UVB rays - that’s those rays that cause sunburn. So an SPF cream that doesn’t also have UVA protection won’t protect your skin from UVA rays that penetrate more deeply.
The number attached to an SPF is how long it protects you for. So if you have very light skin, you may only be able to be in the sun for 5 minutes before burning. An SPF of 15 would give you 15 times as long in the sun before burning.
SPF sunscreens with UVA and UVB protection:
This luxurious sunscreen for the body is a gel so is absorbed easily into the skin. As well as having SPF15 UVB and UVA protection, it also has active ingredients to help facilitate tanning for a healthy summer glow. It’s a great choice if you’re not a fan of sticky sun creams - it feels amazing!
This is a great sunscreen for your face and body, particularly if you are fair. It has a unique complex that stimulates melanin synthesis and so protects your skin from the inside out. It also has horse chestnut extract that soothes the skin. It is a cream but it a light feel on your skin so not too heavy on the face.
Your skin is exposed to the sun daily. That’s why products like Guinot Newhite Brightening UV Shield are great. This moisturiser has a built-in SPF 50 protection but also is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins to give you the nourishment and protection you need. It has Vitamin C to help fight against pollutants and to brighten skin.