Sun-kissed vs Scorched
Do you want sun-kissed, glowing skin without the burning red blisters? Confession: We love the sun but there’s a fine line between tanning and cooking your skin under our hot summer sun. But with just a few weeks of the season left to go, there’s no need to be a shade-hogger from dawn till dusk. Here, MELANIE VELLA suggests keeping these brilliant skincare tips in mind before slapping on the (protected) tanning oil and laying on your lounger.
1. Skin Stops Tanning After Two Hours
Think you’re catching up on a week’s worth of tanning when you hit the sunbed for 6 hours a day on the weekend? Think again! During sun exposure, your skin produces a tanning pigment, melanin, which stops being produced after around 2 or 3 hours – if you’re fair, it’s probably less. Once you’ve reached this stage, you’re simply exposing your skin to UV damage and sunburn. Take breaks, cool off in the water or allow yourself 2 hour tanning sessions at a go for a healthier, more even tan.
2. A Shot of Sunscreen
Most of us are guilty of using half the recommended amount when slapping on the sunscreen. This means you’ll end up with half the SPF protection indicated on the bottle. Beautician, Lara Vella recommends a shot-glass full to cover your body and a 1cent-sized blob for your face. Remember that right-handed people tend to apply more to their left side than their right, and vice versa. Good excuse to ask for help.
3. Beat The Burn
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures how long the sunblock protects the skin against UVB rays, compared to how long it would take without protection. If it takes 20 minutes without protection to begin reddening, using an SPF15 prevents reddening 15 times longer (about 5 hours). But these rays make up only 10% of the UV radiation we receive. UVA rays account for the rest, and these cause the longer-term damage. To beat both rays, you need at least an SPF15 with an added UVA protection rating. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and right after swimming.
4. SPF – Still Possible to Fry?
If you care about your skin and proudly slap on the sunscreen, remember that SPF does not protect from all harmful UV rays. You can add more protection by using daily antioxidants, which help neutralise free radicals – the molecules produced by overexposure to the sun. Find facial serums or supplements with Vitamin C and E combinations for the best protection, from both the inside and out.
5. SPF in Your Lunch
It’s not just the yummy taste that makes hobz biz-zejt and dulliegha the perfect summer snacks. Tomatoes and other red and orange fruit and veg contain an antioxidant which increases lycopene – the skin’s own SPF. This can boost your sun protection by up to 33%. Dark chocolate and green tea are said to have similar qualities that protect against sunburn.
Have you found other ways to love the sun and your skin? Share your love stories in the comments section below.