Protect your skin from sun | sun protection usage | ATTITUDETREND


Let the sun shine with so much confusion surrounding   proper  sun  protection  usage,   ATTITUDETREND  consults the experts to bring you the best advice to pass on to your clients and protect your skin from sun.

What’s the difference between chemical and physical/mineral sunscreens, and which is best? 

protect your skin from sun
“These  are  the  two  main  types  of  UV  filter.  The  most commonly  used  are  the  absorbers  (organic  or  chemical UV filters)  because  these  are  more  efficient,”  says  Dr Emma Meredith,  director  of  science  at  the  Cosmetic, Toiletry  and  Perfumery  Association  (CTPA).  “Inorganic or physical  UV  filters  (also  referred  to  as  mineral)  act   by  reflecting  or  blocking  the  sun’s  rays.  Often  both  types of  UV  filter  are  used  in  combination  because  they  tend   to  be  effective  against  different  UV  light  wavelengths. This  means  they  provide  a  broad  spectrum  of  protection across  the  whole  range  of  UV  light.” Dr  Rabia  Malik,  holistic  aesthetic  doctor  at  Grace Belgravia  Medical,  says:  “Organic  filters  are  essentially chemicals  that  are  carbon  based  and  absorb  UV  rays,   protecting  the  skin  by  intercepting  the  rays  before  they can  penetrate.”

Do clients really need to wear sun protection on the face every day, even in cloudy weather?

 “Cloudy  days  are  no  excuse  not  to  wear  sun  protection  as the  level  of  UV  radiation  is  not  affected  by  temperature,
and  UV  rays  can  penetrate  through  thin cloud.  In  fact,  patchy  clouds  can intensify  UV levels  because  radiation  is  reflected  off the  cloud’s  edge  and  then  focuses  on  the ground,”  says  aesthetic  doctor  Dr  Preema Vig,  who  runs  Dr  Preema  London  Clinic.

Do moisturisers and foundations with added SPF provide enough protection?

protect your skin from sun
“Certain  products  contain  added  protection from  UV  rays  to  help  combat  the  rays’ anti-ageing  effects,  but  it’s  important  to remember  that  such  products  are   not  intended  to  be  used  as  primary sun  protection,”  says  Meredith.  “If  you’re   wearing  these  products  and  you’re  going   to  spend  time  in  the  sun,  you  still  need  to apply  sunscreen.  Think  of  applying  a  good teaspoonful  for  the  face,  remembering  the tips of the ears and under the chin.”

Do we all need some unprotected sun exposure to get enough vitamin D? 

“I  believe  that  some  exposure  is  essential   to  help  maintain  vitamin D  levels,  but  my preference  would  be  to  keep  hands, arms  and  legs uncovered  while  continuing to  use  sun protection  on  the  face,  neck   and  d├ęcolletage  (if  exposed),”  says  Malik. She adds:  “Many people still  require  an additional  oral  vitamin  D  supplement,   and  I  recommend  it  for  all  patients  in   the  autumn  and  winter  months.”

Some ingredients in chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone, have been identified as hormone disruptors. Should clients  be concerned? 

protect your skin from sun
“Yes,  absolutely.  We  should  be  concerned about  potential  hormone disruptors  or synthetic oestrogens,  and  it  is  for  this  reason that  I  recommend  mineral-based  or  physical rather  than  chemical  sunscreens,”  says  Malik.

How long can we store sun   protection products for?

 “Products  used  extensively  on  a  beach   or  left  open  for  a  length  of  time  should generally  be  discarded  after  the  holiday,   and  clients  should  throw  away  any  products that  have  become  discoloured,  have  an unpleasant  odour  or  don’t  look  like  they should,”  advises  Meredith.
“In  the  EU,  cosmetic  products  don’t   have  expiry  or ‘sell  by’  dates;  instead,  if  it does  not  last  for  30 months  then  it  will  be labelled  with  a  ‘best  before’  date.  This  can also  be  indicated by an  hourglass  symbol immediately  followed  by  a  date. “Products  with  a  shelf  life  of  at  least  30 months  may  be  labelled  (and  sunscreens   will  be)  with  a  ‘period  after  opening’  or   ‘open  jar’  symbol.  This  isn’t  an  expiry  date either,  but  an  indication  that  once  open,  the product  will  not  deteriorate  to  harm  health.” Meredith  continues:  “Most  personal  care products  are  formulated  to  ensure  they  have a  shelf-life  that  far  exceeds  the  normal  time   it  would  take  to  use  the  product  up.  This  is certainly  the  case  for  sunscreens.”

What does the PA+ system mean  in relation to SPF rating?

protect your skin from sun
“This  is  generally  used  outside  Europe  for indicating  the  UVA  protection  factor,  but   may  appear  on  some  products  here  if  they are  dual  labelled  for  multiple  markets. Products  in  the  EU  should  follow  the European  Commission Recommendation for sunscreen  labelling:  the  letters  ‘UVA’  in  a  circle.  This  means the  product  contains  at  least  the  recommended  minimum level  of  UVA  protection  for  a  sunscreen,”
“The  Commission recommends that products  should  provide  both  UVA  and  UVB  protection.  The   latter  is  indicated  as  an  SPF  number  and  the  minimum recommended  is  SPF  15.”
Vig  adds: “You  should  always  go  for  the  highest possible  protection  on  your  face,  and  look  for  sunscreens labelled  ‘broad  spectrum’,  as  only  sunscreens  that  protect against  both  UVA  and  UVB  rays  are  legally  allowed  to  use this  label.”

What else should clients look for in a  sun-protection product? 

“DNA  repair  enzymes  are  important  to  protect  against   the  impact  of  damaging  UV  rays  and  environmental exposure  that  can  potentially  cause  free  radical  damage,” says  Malik. “Using  a  topical  antioxidant  serum  in  addition to  a  mineral-based  sunscreen  is  a  good  combination.”

What’s the future of sun protection? 

protect your skin from sun
“Cutting-edge  sunscreens  not  only  protect  against  UVA and  UVB  rays,  they  also  offer  anti-ageing  properties  and reverse  and  repair  DNA  damage,”  says  Vig.  She  predicts we’ll  see  more  formulas  that  offer protection  against things  like  thymine  dimmers,  “which  cause  the  specific DNA damage  that  is  consistent  with  a  high  cancer  risk”. She adds: “Several  companies are researching formulations  to improve  product  performance,  so  it  works on  the  skin  for  longer  without  reapplying.”  Research  is  also being  done into  the  impact  of  infrared  rays  on  skin  health, with  advanced  formulas  already  offering  defence.

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