Sun Protection – Top Tips from Charlotte Vøhtz – The most important step you can take to protect your skin from the sun is to use a sun lotion with the correct sun protection factor (SPF) for your skin type.
Generally it is a good idea to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure
Re-apply sun cream every two hours – make sure that you apply it liberally and re-apply it frequently – especially after swimming or excessive sweating.
Re-apply regularly and pay particular attention to covering all areas including feet, behind the ears, hairline and back of your neck
You will need a higher SPF factor for the first two days of sun exposure.
Avoid the sun when it is at its strongest between 11am to 3pm. Just 10 minutes unprotected exposure at this time of day can damage fair skin
If you are fair skinned, protect your skin even when in the shade. 40% of UV radiation can still reach you.
Replace sun lotion annually. Non mineral UV filters lose their efficacy over time, especially once the product has been opened.
Protect your eyes from UV radiation too.
SPF – HOW HIGH IS HIGH ENOUGH?
It is important to be aware that the SPF of a sun lotion only indicates the level of protection against UVB radiation. It does not tell you anything about the protection it offers against dangerous UVA light. The problem with products offering very high SPF levels is that although they will give excellent protection against UVB radiation, it is unlikely that they will offer the same high levels of protection against UVA radiation.
This means that whilst the skin will not show visible signs of UV damage and will not go red and burn, the UVA radiation can still be getting through. This causes long-term damage to the living skin cells in the deeper underlying layers of the skin and accounts for approximately 90% of the signs of premature ageing.
HOW MUCH SUN LOTION SHOULD YOU APPLY?
Sun lotions are generally tested at an application level of 2.0mg per cm² of skin. This equates to about 30g to cover the whole of an adult body. If less than this amount is applied, you will not be getting the protection level stated on the bottle.
An easy way to remember how much sun cream to apply is to use an amount the size of a shot glass for the entire body, every time you re-apply. If you are only applying sun lotion to certain areas of the body, e.g. exposed arms, use an amount the size of a 50p (around 3g) for each arm, or for exposed legs use twice this amount. Your entire face and neck will also need a 50p-sized amount of sun lotion.
SENSITIVE SUN LOTIONS
For people with sensitive skin and those prone to prickly heat, spray-on sun lotions are usually best avoided, as they often contain harsh, irritating chemicals such as alcohol which is used to give the product a light skin-feel.
For skin-friendly organic sun lotions, try Green People’s award-winning sun care lotions for adults and children in medium and high factors. Providing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection without harsh chemicals, Green People sun lotions are suitable for ultra-sensitive skin and those prone to eczema and prickly heat.
Green People’s award-winning sun care formulations contain a soothing blend of natural antioxidants, skin vitamins and anti-inflammatory actives that help support the skin’s immune systems and prevent premature ageing. Antioxidants such as Edelweiss have been shown to extend skin cell life when exposed to free radical activity, while Rosemary Extract and Green Tea extract protect from the visible effects of premature ageing.
Available in both SPF 15 and 30, Green People’s award-winning range includes: Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30, Scent Free Facial Sun cream SPF 30, Organic Children’s Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF 30 and Sun Lotion SPF 15 with Natural Tan Accelerator.
WHY PROTECT THE SKIN FROM SUMMER SUNSHINE?
Sunlight may well deliver our daily dose of vitamin D but, without adequate protection, it can damage skin tissue and leave it vulnerable to burning, ageing and even mutation. Our skin is most vulnerable to sunlight at midday when the sun is at its strongest, during this time unprotected fair skin can become burned by UVB rays after just a few minutes of exposure. Whilst sunburn causes discomfort, a greater cause for concern is the effect of UVA rays. These longer rays can reach beyond the surface of the skin and are thought to be responsible for producing skin-damaging free radicals known to cause wrinkles, pigmentation problems and skin cancer.
Try the following natural treatments to ease discomfort and speed up recovery of sunburn:
Run a tepid bath, add a cupful of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of almond oil and 15 drops of lavender essential oil and mix well. The cider vinegar eases the sting, almond oil guards against dryness and lavender helps repair sun damage. This mixture also helps red skin turn brown without peeling.
For small areas of sunburn, apply neat lavender essential oil. Aloe Vera gel is soothing and cooling when applied to larger areas of sunburn. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to enhance aloe vera’s cooling effect.
GREEN PEOPLE’S HYDRATING AFTER SUN LOTION – £10.50 (100ml) / £16.50 (200ml) – Minimise peeling and prolong your tan with this cooling and moisture-binding after sun lotion. Rich in Aloe Vera and Calendula, also suitable as a refreshing everyday body lotion. Light yet nourishing, freshly scented with fairly traded organic Peppermint oil.
Thanks to Charlotte Vøhtz, Founder of Green People for these handy sun protection tips!