Summer holidays: How do I protect my skin?

In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies

We all love to have fun in the SA sun, and we can, as long as we follow some sun-safe rules. Let’s find the right sun protection…

Sun protection is a multi-pronged affair, the first part being clever timing, which means staying out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s UV rays are most direct.

Next is wearing protective gear, such as UV-protective clothing, a broad-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses with UV-protective lenses (to help prevent eye damage). Lastly, you need a good quality sunscreen that contains both UVA and UVB protection in a high factor (SPF 50+ to start), with proven safe and effective sun protection ingredients.

Which sunscreen ingredients should I choose?

There has been much debate in recent years about ingredients in sunscreens, especially those that penetrate into the skin, but reading an ingredient label can be very confusing.

Look for active ingredients such as the mineral filters zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (safest especially for children), and chemical filter Mexoryl SX. These protect the skin against harmful UVA and UVB radiation and remain on the skin, with little if any, penetration into the body.

You should avoid the chemical oxybenzone, which is a hormone disruptor that penetrates the skin.

Pick your texture

Some of us avoid using sunscreen (or don’t use enough to be effective) because we don’t like a thick, greasy texture. There are many textures available that give you the right protection, with the feel you prefer:

Oily skins may prefer a gel or mineral powder. The latter works very well over make-up and is easy to re-apply.

Lotions and creams will always be the favourite for dehydrated skin types.

Sprays are easy, and preferred by men, especially for application on hairy areas.

Pick your favourites here.

Inner protection
To protect your skin from the inside out, an oral anti-oxidant supplement such as Lamelle Ovelle or Heliocare 360 Capsules is excellent. They contain ingredients that increase the skin’s resistance to the effects of harmful UV radiation.

CAUTION! These are not meant to replace your sun protection cream, but rather should be used alongside your sunscreen. They provide additional protection when you’re having excessive sun exposure.

The Heliocare 360 range has just been relaunched with exciting new products such as the Heliocare 360 Cushion Compact SPF50.

Their sunscreens contain new-generation dermatological photoprotection Fernblock technology:

  1. It acts as an anti-oxidant to prevent UV radiation.
  2. It protects immune cells and preserves skin functionality.
  3. It prevents the formation of mutated cells to prevent skin cancer.
  4. It protects elastic fibres to prevent photoageing.

We also recommend NeoRetin GelCream SPF 50 and NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF 50.

After the fact

Most of us wear the evidence of sun damage on our skin as part of the price we pay for living in our beautiful, sunny country. Preventative protection is first prize but, fortunately, there are treatments available to help counter the damaged and dehydrated appearance of skin. By stimulating collagen production in the skin, the elasticity will be restored and the plump appearance of the skin will return.

To find out more about protection against the sun or to find suitable treatment solutions after the damage was done, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.

RELATED TAGS: sun protection sun smart sunscreen