While climate change is making the weather - and day-to-day life - fairly unpredictable, in the short-term we’ve all got to find ways to keep cool and carry on.
A basic step is to make sure you’ve got some sun-block on before stepping outdoors, but there’s a lot more to solid skin-care than just slapping on some Factor 50.
Here’s some of our top tips.
Get the basics right
The sun is generally at its hottest from 10 AM to 2 PM. If you’re heading outside during the hottest part of the day, do your best to wear a hat, sunglasses, and keep as much of your skin covered by clothing as possible.
Putting some sun-block on before you leave the house is pretty much essential. Be generous with it – you want to apply sun-block to your face, neck, arms, and any other parts of your body that are going to be exposed. If you’re wearing shorts then you’re going to want sun-block on your legs.
Not all sun-blocks are equal
Lots of products come with sun-block included as a component. Do a bit of research. You want broad spectrum protection that helps prevent damage from both UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t mess around with low-level sun-blocks. You need something that’s at least SPF30.
You probably need different sun-block for your face and your body – particularly if you’ve got sensitive skin.
High-end grooming products that include some level of sun-block might feel nicer on your skin, but they’re probably not giving you strong enough protection.
Make sure you’re reapplying your sun-block regularly. If you’re out and about for most of the day, you should be re-applying every couple of hours.
You have to be particularly cautious with hair-care products that include sun-block – especially if you’ve coloured your hair. A hat is generally a better option.
The after-sun regime
After you’ve been exposed to the sun, your skin is going to be sensitive. You want to wash the day away with gentle cleansing oils and milky cleansers – products that will get you clean without stripping away too many skin cells.
Once you’ve cleaned up, don’t forget to moisturise. Get some lotion on that body.
If things haven’t gone to plan and you’ve ended up getting sun-burnt, don’t try and tough it out. Take some action to try and help your body recover as quickly as possible.
Take a cool shower when you get home. Use moisturisers that contain aloe vera or soy.
Taking pain-killers such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help to reduce the redness and discomfort.
Drink lots of water. You need to rehydrate.
The damage is done
UV rays reach your inner skin layers. You might think that your skin has got a nice tan, but what you’ve got is damaged skin cells.
Sun damage can present as freckles, discoloration, wrinkles, and other signs of premature ageing – all with higher risks of skin cancer.
Treatments for sun-damage are available. You’re looking at microdermabrasion, photofacials, laser resurfacing treatments, microneedling, and peels. All of which requires a visit to your local dermatology clinic.
Moisturising is what you should focus on at home. Look for moisturisers that contain Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Lecithin, Sorbitol, and Glycerol.
Some sun is essential
Don’t avoid the sun completely. It’s essential for producing Vitamin D and Serotonin.
If you can spend 15-20 minutes outdoors in the morning, that would be ideal – it could be a quick walk or run before work, or planning your commute so that it includes some outdoor walking.