Summer. The favourite season for so many of us for so many reasons! That warm feeling of the sun on your skin, the golden glow of a summer tan, the long days and balmy nights, bare feet, bikinis, vacations… the list is endless!
Of course, for every highlight of summer there is also a low point for our skin including sunburn, skin damage, dryness, flaking, peeling, and everyone's least favourite; premature ageing.
So how do we have fun-in-the sun and enjoy the best of summer without it wreaking havoc on our skin?
Your Body Needs Sun
The first thing to remember is that sun is essential for life! One of the worst things you can do for your health is to cover every mm of your skin and hideaway in the dark. When your skin is exposed to the sun, the sun’s ultraviolet B rays (UVB) hit your skin and interact with cholesterols in your skin cells that then stimulate Vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide and is a particularly important public health issue because it is an essential vitamin for numerous internal health mechanisms our body needs to perform to keep us healthy & alive. Research suggests that Vitamin D also plays a role in protecting us from cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, fractures and falls, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type-2 diabetes, and depression.
The key to finding the balance between getting the sun that gives us life, and getting the sun that creates visible damage in our skin is all about timing, dosage, and area of exposure. The Cancer Council of Australia suggests that adequate Vitamin D levels can be obtained through incidental sun exposure without protection like biking, walking to work, or enjoying a morning cup of tea outside, when the UV index is 3 or higher. For moderately fair skin it is suggested that having your arms uncovered and exposed to the sun for 7-10 minutes daily in summer and 15-60 minutes daily in winter is required. Darker skin requires more exposure to create the same Vitamin D levels and will require 15-60 mins daily in summer and 30mins-3hours daily in winter.
The #1 Cause of Signs of Ageing - the Sun
Up to 80% of premature signs of ageing are attributed to sun exposure. Once you understand this your skin care routine and priorities tend to shift, well at least mine certainly did. It went from using products with claims to be anti-wrinkle, Anti-ageing and anti-pigmentation to name a few, to be proactive in protecting my skin from being exposed to these things in the first place.
So now my number 1 recommendation for skincare and preventing premature signs of ageing is using a great natural sunscreen EVERY DAY. Our ultimate sunscreen recommendations for the face are:
Little Urchin Tinted Natural Sunscreen SPF30 - this all natural formulation is made with nourishing oils to help hydrate and nourishing the skin, is 3 hour water resistant and also doubles as a foundation thanks to its natural tinted colour!
Inika Loose Mineral Foundation SPF25 - for those of you who aren't thrilled at applying a sunscreen lotion to your face everyday this natural mineral foundation from Inika is a fantastic option! Reapply throughout the day to ensure you stay protected.
Slip, Slop, Slap
There is a well-known saying in Australia: ‘between 11 and 3 slip under a tree, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat’.
The sun’s rays are at their most harmful, the higher in the sky the sun is. This is true for both the time of day, with midday being most dangerous, and in terms of geographical location. UV rays are particularly harsh in locations close to the equator and also in Australia and New Zealand because of the damage to the ozone layer above.
If you are spending time in the mountains, the snow, at the lake or the beach then you need to take extra precautions due to the proximity to the sun and UV reflection from these natural elements that can increase your exposure.
The best way to protect your skin from sun damage is to ensure you Slip, Slop, Slap between 11am and 3pm, plus an extra hour either side for safe measure.
Heal, repair and hydrate
Preventing sun damage is not just about protecting our skin physically from the sun with zinc, clothing and shade, it is also about helping it recover when we have been having fun in the sun.
A few of our sun recovery essentials include:
+ Little Urchin Daily Moisturiser + After Sun Lotion packed with rich and nourishing ingredients this all natural daily moisturiser will provide long-lasting hydration to restore and replenish your skin. For both body and face.
+ ATTITUDE After Sun Melt-In Gel - Mint & Cucumber formulated with the best ingredients to nourish, cool and soothe dry sun-stressed skin. These superstar ingredients are calming calendula, cooling mint, and refreshing cucumber.
Due to its super convenient packaging, it's the perfect after sun to bring in your suitcase & beach bag on holidays.
+ Biologi Bqk Radiance Face Serum - with the world highest concentration of natural stable Vitamin C, this incredible morning/night time duo works to improve skin hydration, elasticity and collagen production whilst fading skin pigmentation and colouration.
+ Sans [ceuticals] Activator 7 Oil - we recommend the Activator 7 Oil in the cooler months when your skin is recovering from your summer vacation. This miracle oil contains high doses of Vitamin A which acts to speed up cellular turnover and repair, bringing new ‘baby skin cells’ to the surface and acting to heal, repair and brighten your skin.
+ Sans [ceuticals] Cellular Repair Lotion - with 5% active Niacinamide this Lotion is the gold-standard when it comes to recovering from sun exposure. Niacinamide acts to inhibit the transfer of melanin to the skin's surface acting to prevent pigmentation and discolouration from sun exposure. It also fades existing pigmentation, strengthens skin and improves ceramide production for skin barrier healing.