TOP TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR SKIN FOR THE SUN
Published April 5, 2023
However vital it may be, sunlight is one of the leading causes of skin aging and can be harmful to the skin. But by taking just a few basic precautions, you can enjoy the benefits while keeping your skin radiant and healthy.
In this article, our experts shed some light on sunlight and explain the importance of exfoliation, moisturizing, and protection. They'll also explain what you need to do to prepare your skin for the sun, including choosing the right creams and treatments to nourish and protect it. With the help of this comprehensive guide, you'll be able to enjoy your summer with full peace of mind.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE’RE EXPOSED TO SUNLIGHT?
Sunlight consists of two kinds of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and infrared radiation.
In moderate doses, it can be beneficial. Sunlight is vital for the synthesis of vitamin D, for example, which is essential for maintaining good bone health. And obviously, it makes you feel good!
But if exposure to the sun is not kept in check, or if we don't prepare our skin properly for the sun, it can suffer: burns, blemishes, premature skin aging or, in the most severe cases, the development of cancerous melanomas.
So, to properly prepare your skin for the sun and choose the most effective protection, it's essential to understand how ultraviolet and infrared radiation affect the different layers of the skin.
UVA, AS IN AGING
UVA radiation penetrates deep into the skin, passing through the epidermis all the way to the dermis, and is largely responsible for premature skin aging. Excessive exposure to this type of UV radiation alters the structure of collagen and elastin, which are the proteins that give the skin its tone and suppleness. These two molecules lose their respective properties when altered, making the skin less supple and inviting wrinkles to develop. On top of that, UVA radiation generates oxidative stress due to the production of skin cell-damaging free radicals.
UVB, AS IN BURNING
UVB radiation only penetrates as far as the skin's upper layer, the epidermis. This stimulates the production of melanin (the pigment responsible for tanning), which, in addition to its cosmetic appeal, acts as the skin's natural form of sun protection.
Melanin actually helps protect our DNA by absorbing UV radiation. UVB radiation also encourages epidermal cells to multiply, thickening the stratum corneum and making the skin stronger and less vulnerable to radiation.
It might sound like UVB radiation is an effective way of preparing your skin for the sun. But it's all about moderation:
- Overexposure interferes with melanin production and leads to the appearance of liver spots.
- Too much UVB radiation without protection causes sunburn.
- It's also responsible for melanomas.
The effects of this kind of radiation are not mitigated by melanin or a tan. Infrared radiation heats up and dries out the epidermis, creating the characteristic sensations of tingling and warmth on the skin. They also damage collagen fibers, accelerating skin aging and the development of wrinkles and liver spots.
There is no way of filtering out infrared radiation in the same way that sunscreens filter out UVA and UVB radiation. The only way to minimize its effects is to use antioxidants.
THE INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR IN QUALITY SUN PROTECTION
Choosing the right sunscreen is crucial to properly preparing your skin for the sun. Its job is to absorb UV radiation. To do so, it needs to contain specific filters to block UVA and UVB radiation. In premium products, these filters are further boosted by ingredients that increase their effectiveness.
These ingredients include high molecular weight hyaluronic acid and certain plant oils, and they form a film on the surface of the skin that helps to distribute the filters more evenly on its surface. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and antioxidants like beta-carotene are also used as boosters.
HOW TO BEST PREPARE YOUR SKIN FOR THE SUN
To get the perfect tan and keep your skin well protected, FILORGA's experts recommend the following routine:
STEP 1: EXFOLIATE
Exfoliating means eliminating dead cells from the skin. Doing so gives your skin a smoother texture and favors a uniform, radiant tan.
We advise that our customers prepare their skin for the sun by exfoliating once or twice a week with our SCRUB & MASK, a dual action exfoliator that reveals cleaner and fresher looking skin. Just make sure not to over-exfoliate as this can lead to irritation and dryness.
STEP 2: NOURISH
Once the skin has been cleansed of dead cells, the second step in preparing your skin for the sun is simply to follow your usual FILORGA skincare routine. After being weakened by the UV and infrared radiation of the hot summer months, the skin requires nourishment and hydration.
This is when our HYDRA collection is your perfect ally.
STEP 3: PROTECT
Your skin is now ready for sun protection, which should always be applied at the end of your skincare routine, even on overcast days (because UV radiation penetrates cloud cover) and in the city.
Make sure you choose one with broad spectrum SPF protection—that means it guards against both UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays. If you don’t like how traditional sunscreen feels on your face, there are now many tinted mineral sunscreen options available on the market which provide great coverage without leaving behind a white cast or making your face feel greasy.
Apply a sufficient amount evenly all over the body and face before sun exposure and reapply frequently, approximately every two hours, and especially after swimming or drying the skin. And when your day out in the sun comes to an end, don't forget to remove any sun protection with a make-up remover and follow up with an antioxidant serum followed by a moisturizer to help the skin recover after a day in the sun.
In addition to the protection provided by your sun care products, you should also stick to these general safety guidelines:
- Frequently reapply your sunscreen, especially after sweating, swimming, or toweling yourself off — at least every two hours.
- Even with the highest quality protection, you should avoid exposure to the sun when it's at its hottest. During the summer, this means between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Don't forget that too much sun is dangerous for your health.