Health & Beauty

Mary Ferry

Sunscreens and your skin

To help erase lines and wrinkles look for a sunscreen with antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, caffeine, coffeeberry or niacin.

To help erase lines and wrinkles look for a sunscreen with antioxidants such as
vitamins E and C, caffeine, coffeeberry or niacin.

With the summer upon us and temperatures soaring it is time to take a look at how important it is to protect your skin and to choose the correct sunscreen.

Sunscreen does amazing things for your complexion, as well as preventing you from getting scorched it can help you look younger. If your skin isn’t constantly fighting off UV rays and free radicals, it can actually have the time to repair itself and reverse past damage.

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Put sunscreen on daily and you will look younger over time, now this is a very good reason to make an effort with an SPF. When buying a sunscreen look for the term broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection on the label.

The familiar SPF number is not enough, because it refers only to protection against UVB rays (the ones responsible for burning skin); you need a sunscreen that also fends off at least some UVA rays (which don’t burn but can break down collagen and age skin).

It pays to make sure that is spelled out. Read the fine print and once you have found a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you need to narrow your search even further, as the term does not guarantee that every UVA wavelength is covered. You may be applying it often but still see premature aging.

Look for a mix of the following ingredients to avobenzone and octocrylene and 5 to 10 percent zinc oxide. An SPF 15 is better than nothing if you are running around on errands or going to work, but it is recommended that bumping that up to an SPF 30 for daily use, if you will be in the sun for an extended period, a moisturiser or sunscreen with SPF 50 is ideal.

Re apply often especially after breaking a sweat or taking a swim. If you have skin issues and think that sunscreens will clog your pores and lead to zits, this is not true as long as you stick to oil-free sunscreens (and especially avoid formulas with mineral oil, paraffin wax, liquid paraffin or petrolatum), your breakouts should not increase at all.

If you have dry or sensitive skin opt for creamy formulas packed with hydrators such as oat protein or sodium hyaluronate which attracts water from the air and binds it to skin along with omega 3s essential fatty acids that are also deeply moisturising.

To further seal in moisture, apply when skin is a bit damp. If you are prone to mystery rashes, use formulas that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, these are physical protectors that deflect UV light and are less irritating.

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They can leave a white sheen on the skin, though, so dab lightly on your face, then rub in completely (rather than pouring a blob in your hands).

To help erase lines and wrinkles look for a sunscreen with antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, caffeine, coffeeberry or niacin. Antioxidants fight free radicals before they lead to wrinkles and cancer.

For the highest level of protection, apply a separate antioxidant serum to skin first; serums are ultrathin and designed to penetrate deeply into skin.