We’re all aware of the need to use sunscreen, but how it should be worn and the other important aspects of sun protection may be less known. The effects of not wearing sunscreen impacts all layers of skin – causing potential damage to cells alongside the emergence of sunspots and premature wrinkles.
Facial sunscreen is also the most invaluable aspect of skincare routines – without it, steps like serums and moisturisers have limited effectiveness against lines and wrinkles. Some ingredients such as retinol can further sensitise skin to UV rays – reinforcing the need for sunscreen as your final skincare step. Fortunately, there are simple sun safety tips that can be followed consistently throughout the year.
For how to protect skin from sun damage and avoid premature ageing in skin, we’ve compiled sun protection tips for you and your family to follow. This 9-step guide can be implemented year-round, with corresponding skincare suggestions included.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN YEAR-ROUND
For many of us, our sunscreen application either decreases or ceases altogether in winter. Less time spent outdoors and shorter windows of sunlight contribute to the perception that sunscreen isn’t as necessary during the cooler months. However, protecting your skin against sun damage applies to all seasons. Both UVA and UVB rays are present year-round, and the potentially damaging effects along with them. UVA and UVB rays cause ageing and sunburn on the skin, respectively– so it’s essential that sunscreen is applied daily.
POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF NOT WEARING SUNSCREEN
By understanding how to protect skin from sun damage, you can avoid the visible and invisible effects of UV exposure. The effects of not wearing sunscreen are visible through signs like hyperpigmentation and age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dryness and reduced skin elasticity. Even without visible changes to the skin, cumulative skin cell damage can still be present, which leads to risks of certain forms of cancer.
SUN SAFETY TIPS FOR EVERYDAY
The use of sunscreen daily is only one aspect of proper sun protection. For how to protect yourself from UV rays effectively, additional sun safety tips like being aware of heightened exposure alongside reapplication should be followed. Maintain radiant and healthy skin by adopting these measures every day of the year.
1. USE SUN PROTECTION DAILY
Whether overcast, windy, cold or sunny, UV radiation can still reach skin. UV rays are present all year round, so apply sunscreen to any exposed part of the body irrespective of weather conditions. To ensure comfort on the skin, align your sun protection to your skin type and apply sunscreen daily and regularly.
2. APPLY SUNSCREEN THE RIGHT WAY
Apply sunscreen as the final step in your skin routine. Wait until all other products are absorbed and skin is dry before application, 20 minutes before sun exposure. Make sure not to forget spots like ears, backs of hands and neck.
3. OPT FOR BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN
Select SPF50+ and ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen to address the effects of both UVA and UVB rays. SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ – the higher the number the greater the level of protection. A rating of ‘50’ filters 98% of UVB rays. All of the Anthelios formulas at La Roche-Posay provide broad spectrum, SPF50+ protection. Body formulas like Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Body Spray Sunscreen SPF50+ provide lightweight protection in an easy to use spray, and facial sunscreens like Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SDPF50+ are also light enough for daily wear under makeup.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.
4. APPLY SUNSCREEN TO ALL EXPOSED AREAS
When placing sunscreen on skin, how much and how well you apply it determines how well it will protect you. For each limb, front and back of body, a teaspoon amount should be used. Half a teaspoon should be applied onto the face, neck and back of ears. Make sure to apply sunscreen on all exposed areas, including the back of neck, knees, hands and tops of feet. Use this application method throughout the year, including in winter. For additional complexion coverage, tinted facial sunscreens like Anthelios Ultra BB Cream SPF50+ provides a hydrating, universal tint.
5. REAPPLY SUN PROTECTION THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Sunscreen should be reapplied to exposed areas of skin every 2 hours, irrespective of SPF levels. Especially after sweating, towelling or swimming as well, reapply sunscreen, and use a water resistant formula. Anthelios XL Wet Skin Sunscreen SPF 50+ provides 4 hours of water resistance.
6. AVOID EXCESSIVE SUN EXPOSURE TIMES
Ultra violet rays are at their highest between 11am and 3pm. Where possible, avoid sun exposure during this time. Remember that UVA rays can permeate through glass as well – so if near a window, still use sunscreen.
7. KEEP CHILDREN SHADED
Exposure to UV radiation in the first 15 years of life increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Alongside sunscreen, keep children in the shade and dressed in sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
8. USE ADDITIONAL SUN PROTECTION
Alongside sunscreen, sun protection includes the use of hats and opaque clothing. Eyes are sensitive to UV radiation, so wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses which offer UV protection.
9. CONSIDER YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Highly reflective areas increase the impact of UV radiation on skin. Be extra careful when at the beach or on the snow. In Australia, SPF 50+ is recommended for sun protection every day and especially when the UV index is 3 or greater.
Discover our guide to sun protection for kids next.
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