Although the sun has its positive sides and most of us love summer, the sun and warm weather also come with a whole series of problems. Irresponsible exposure to UV radiation has been proven to be very harmful. It causes burns, premature aging and skin cancer. Our mission is drawing attention to the negative effects of UV radiation. Keep reading to find out how to protect yourself from its harmful effects and to enjoy the sun responsibly. On top of that, we’ll share tips on adjusting your skin care routine in the summer months.
WHAT IS UV RADIATION AND HOW TO ADEQUATELY PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ITS HARMFUL EFFECTS?
It is necessary to keep in mind that the sun comes with its dangers and remember the importance of proper and high-quality UV protection of the skin. Irresponsible exposure to the sun is a health risk. UV protection, i.e. the use of SPF products, should be one of your main skincare goals year-round, but especially during summer. SPF stands for sun protection factor, i.e. UV radiation. UVB radiation is responsible for burns and skin cancer, while UVA radiation, which makes up 90-95% of all UV radiation, penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and is responsible for accelerated skin aging and the formation of brown pigmentation, as well as skin cancer.
SPF is expressed numerically, and it is a number that describes how many times more we can spend in the sun without getting burned, compared to the time spent in the sun without using UV protection. However, remember that the protection factor describes only the product's ability to protect us from UVB rays, but not from UVA rays. If laboratory research has determined that the product also protects against UVA radiation, it will have UVA marked in a circle, which indicates that it is a product that has achieved a legally satisfactory level of skin protection to protect you from a wide spectrum of UV radiation.
As long as you approach sun exposure responsibly, you’re free to enjoy it. Skintegra Solar I is a moisturizing and reparative fluid with a high protection factor (SPF 30) that contains UV filters of the latest generation and protects your skin from a wide spectrum of UV radiation. It’s an extremely light fluid that is quickly absorbed, without leaving a white film or the feeling of heaviness on your skin.
In addition to the use of SPF, proper protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation also include monitoring the UV index and avoiding direct exposure to the sun when its rays are most intense, which is 10-4pm in the summer. Instead, choose to stay in the shade. It’s recommended you wear high-quality sunglasses with lenses that provide 100% protection against UVB and UVA rays, hats with a wide brim, and long and loose clothing made of light and breathable materials.
HOW TO APPLY SPF CORRECTLY?
It is very common for people to apply sunscreen incorrectly, i.e. they apply too little or do not reapply regularly. The correct application of SPF is of crucial importance for sun protection, because by applying it incorrectly, we get significantly less protection than the one promised.
It has been scientifically proven that 2 mg of UV protection product should be applied to 1 cm2 of skin. Basically, you need to divide your body into 8 parts: head and neck, chest, upper back, lower back, arms, stomach, front of the legs and back of the legs. From there, you need to apply as much product as it takes to draw a line from the tip of your middle finger to the bottom of your palm.
WHAT IF YOU GET SUNBURNT?
Sunburns are a very common occurrence, and manifest as redness, often accompanied by pain, and later on as peeling of the skin. Step number one, and the most important thing, is to stay out of the sun. The feeling of discomfort can be reduced by applying moist compresses and showering with lukewarm water several times a day. In order to reduce irritation and restore the skin barrier, it is recommended you apply neutral emollients containing ingredients such as panthenol, aloe vera, thermal water, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. If necessary, your doctor might prescribe local corticosteroids. It is also very important not to expose yourself to the sun until the skin is completely healed, and not to puncture the blisters and peel the skin.
HOW SUMMER AFFECTS THE SKIN
In addition to the harmful effects of UV radiation and sunburns, the sun and warm weather come with additional issues. The sea and sea salt are generally drying and irritating to the skin. Additionally, sea water, sweat, and SPF mix with bacteria and oils on our skin, which leads to acne breakouts. Fungal acne is also more common due to the proliferation of Malassezia folliculitis, a fungus that loves a warm and humid environment.
Skin which is more sensitive to the sun might develop small pimples and red papules that resemble a mosquito bite. This is a reaction to UV radiation or the reaction to the UV filter from the sun protection product with UV radiation. In the background of this skin reaction is photodermatitis. Your best bet is avoiding the sun until the skin calms down and using sunscreens based on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
One of the most common problems caused by summer and UV rays is melasma, brownish spots that are caused by hyper-production of melanin as a result of damage caused by UV radiation. In order to prevent hyperpigmentation, in addition to avoiding the sun and applying SPF, you can upgrade your routine with ingredients that act as melanin inhibitors, such as vitamin C and niacinamide.
HOW TO ADJUST YOUR SKIN CARE ROUTINE DURING SUMMER?
As we’ve mentioned, your number one priority should definitely be a high quality SPF product. We also recommend you use lighter moisturizing textures instead of richer ones, as well as avoiding too many layers in the routine.
UV radiation is one of the factors of oxidative stress, so summer is the ideal time to introduce antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals. We recommend using Superba C antioxidant serum, which, in addition to 10% vitamin C, contains vitamin E, and ferulic acid, and gives the skin a beautiful glow. Antioxidant-rich Spectra serum emulsion, which contains green tea extract, caffeine and resveratrol, protects our skin from environmental stressors and hydrates it, without a heavy feeling.
If your skin craves refreshment and hydration, Nectar hydrating essence, rich in moisturizers and plant extracts, restores freshness and balance to the skin, and also supplies the skin with antioxidants, protecting it from environmental stressors.
If you are actively exposed to the sun in the summer, we recommend you avoid retinoids and acids that have a keratolytic effect and make the skin sensitive to the sun. Instead, opt for bakuchiol from Architect as an alternative. It treats acne and hyperpigmentation spots, and also has an antiaging effect. On top of that, Architect doesn’t make skin more photosensitive. If you’re using topical therapy, consult with your doctor before implementing it in your routine.
- Petersen, Bibi & Wulf, Hans. (2013). Application of sunscreen – theory and reality. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine. 30.