As the seasons change our skin needs also change. Here in Belfast we see so much rain and dark clouds that when the summer months finally do arrive we just want to spend as much time in the sun as we possibly can. But beware, the sun in Belfast can be just as damaging as anywhere else in the world. Here are Array Belfast’s top tips for keeping your skin healthy in the summer time.
To prevent premature ageing, a broad spectrum SPF of 30 + should always be worn on exposed areas of the body including lips. It is important to make sure that your sunscreen is protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the rays that primarily age your skin and UVB rays are the rays that burn your skin. Always remember to apply to neck, ears, feet, hands and decollate.
One thing to bear in mind is that the vast majority of windows and glass only protect you from UVB rays meaning that those UVA rays can still get through the windows of your home and car. In the majority of modern cars the windscreen is built of laminated glass that protects you from most of the UVA rays. However your side and rear windows do not protect you meaning you always need a broad spectrum sunscreen when driving.
For the face we recommend using the Results Rx Reflect SPF 30 (£47). Choose fragrance free sunscreens as artificial fragrance can react with UV light and cause pigmentation on the skin. This also can happen with your personal fragrance, I recommend spraying your perfume on your clothes or on an area of the body that is not exposed to UV light.
Remember if using a chemical sunscreen that you need to apply it 30 minutes before you head out into the sun so that the UV filters can sink into your skin and form a protective layer. If you are using a physical sunscreen such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide you can go out into the sun immediately as they instantly protect your skin.
Much of the damage that UV rays do to your skin can be prevented or some of the damage undone with antioxidants. UV rays create cells called free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are damaged cells that attack other cells (primarily skin cells) in an effort to repair themselves. When a free radical attacks a skin cell, it damages the skin cell and this results in sun damage, age and sun spots or even skin diseases. Antioxidants are nature’s warriors against free radicals. Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which with out their protection can damage skin cells. Protect your skin in the summer months by eating lots of anti oxidant rich foods such as blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate, beans (red, kidney & pinto), broccoli and tomatoes. At Array Belfast we also recommend using topical antioxidants such as the Obagi Pro- C serum 5%-20% (£40.50-£93.50) or the Cosmedix Affirm Serum (£65.31) to protect your skin from free radical damage.
Take Care of your Hands
I often have clients complaining about the age spots on the back of their hands. Liver spotted hands can often be a give away to a persons true age. We can treat them with chemical peels to lighten and break up the pigment, but remember prevention is the first line of defence. Use a hand cream that contains a sun protection or just remember to apply your daily sunscreen to the back of your hands to prevent this problem in the future.
Wear a hat and Sunglasses when out in the sun
When spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun. For extra protection on top of your sunscreen wear a wide brimmed hat and also wear sunglasses. Always ensure that your sunglasses are going to protect you from UV rays as like your skin your eyes need protection from UV rays too.
Make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin
When wearing all this extra sun protection make sure and thoroughly cleanse it off before you go to bed. We recommend doing a double cleanse at night time, first time to cleanse any sunscreen and make up off the skin, then the second time to clean any remaining impurities from the skin. We recommend using Cosmedix Purity Clean (£27.45) on oilier skins or for drier more sensitive skins Cosmedix Benefit Clean (£27.45). Remember that cleansers with AHA’s or BHA’s in them such as the Purity Clean, which contains lactic acid which is an AHA can leave your skin sensitive to the sun so always make sure you use a sunscreen or stick to using them at night time only in the warmer months.
Change your products in your skin care routine according to how your skin feels.
The change in the weather can affect your skin, sometimes you may find your skin feels a little oilier in the summer months, you can solve this by adding in an exfoliator such as the Cosmedix Purity detox scrub (£37.80) once or twice a week at night time. This products contains salicylic acid which helps to keep oil at bay. This is another product that may leave your skin sensitive to the sun so remember your sunscreen after using this one. Another thing to change to stop your skin feeling so oily is your moisturiser. The Obagi Hydrate Moisturiser (£36.50) is a light textured moisturiser that will leave your skin hydrated without that oily feeling. Another great hydrator especially for oily skins is the Cosmedix Mystic (£38.10) this is a spritz hydrator which you just spritz on over your serums and can reapply through out the day. Chemical sunscreens can also leave the skin feeling oily. If this is the case, try sticking to physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these ingredients tend not to leave your skin feeling as oily. We recommend the Cosmedix Hydrate + (£40) or as mentioned before the Results Rx Reflect. If you are using any topical retinol products always remember this can photo-sensitize the skin, always use at night time only and never go out in the sun with out any protection as your skin is a little more sensitive to the sun while you are using retinol.
In the summer months with your body exposed more you may find your skin feeling and looking a little dull and lifeless, try exfoliating with a sugar or salt scrub once or twice a week to slough away dead skin cells to leave skin looking glowing and feeling smooth.
Now whether you are spending summer at home in Belfast or you are heading away on a sun holiday you are equipped with summer skin care tips that will keep your skin protected and looking great wherever you are.