This week is Sun Awareness Week (9th – 15th May) and although we’re all up for making the most of the good weather and indulging in a spot of sunbathing here at the MPS head office, we’re very conscious of the need to take care of our skin during the summer months.
The newest member of our events team, Helen, has just returned from a very enviable trip to LA where she experienced some ice-cream melting temperatures! She says her saviour was the Neal’s Yard sun care range which she went fully equipped with. As she has sensitive skin, Helen’s ‘go-to’ product was the Lemongrass Moisturising Sun Lotion; “not only does it smell divine, it deeply nourished my skin with organic Shea butter, conditioning beeswax and moisturising oils”. Another of Helen’s favourite products is the Jasmine Enriching Facial Cream. She used to suffer from dry skin until discovering this rich hydrating moisturiser – “I slathered this on whilst away, my skin drank it in like water!”.
At the time of writing, the sun is cracking the flags across most of the UK, however, judging by the weather forecast, by the time this blog is published the barbecue could well be back in the garage again! Then again, it’s a good reminder that you don’t necessarily need to be in direct sunlight to get sun-burnt.
According to a survey carried out the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), eight out of ten people are failing to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. The survey also found that 70 per cent of people fail to reapply sunscreen every two hours as recommended. Are you one of the guilty ones? I think a lot of us are… Especially when for some of us, sunny days are few and far between!
The BAD recommended approach is to apply sunscreen before going out, and then again shortly afterwards. This helps to ensure the product is fully absorbed before your skin is exposed to sun, helps reduce the chances of areas of skin being missed, and ensures a thick enough layer is applied.
Protecting your skin against the sun’s harmful rays will not only reduce your risk of skin cancer but help prevent skin damage and premature ageing too. While many people associate a tan with looking healthy, it’s actually a sign that your skin has been harmed by UV radiation and is trying to defend itself against further damage. Let’s face it, the only thing that should be sizzling is those sausages on the barbecue!
It’s not all bad news though, sunlight is also good for you in small doses. It helps your body create vitamin D which in turn helps to build healthy bones and teeth and supports your immune system. Exposure to the sun is also beneficial for skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. According to the World Health Organisation, getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face two to three times a week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of sun.
We often become more sociable in the Summer; spending time in the fresh air and doing outdoor activities boosts your general health and wellbeing. Sunshine relaxes you, can reduce stress and lift your mood – anyone for Pimm’s?!
At the end of the day we’re all grown up enough to know our own skin. If you’re not used to being in the sun then you will need to take more precautions, whether in the UK or further afield. If you are used to being in the sun you still need to listen to the BAD’s advice.
Here’s a gentle reminder of how to stay safe in the sun:
- Use a sun protection with at least SPF15 and four star UVA protection. Apply generously and keep re-applying every two hours.
- Cover up – wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses marked CE (the European standard) to protect your eyes
- Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm – yes, even in the UK!
- Always make sure children wear plenty of sun cream and are protected too – make it part of your morning routine!
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water – your skin will thank you for it!
At My Personal Sanctuary our therapists are highly trained and skilled in dealing with all skin types and conditions. We only use the best organic products in our treatments so they’re gentle and caring on your skin. We often find teenagers who may need a little skincare advice will take it more readily from a professional therapist than from their parents! So we’ve devised a fresh facial for those teens in need of a little TLC and some friendly advice. Find out more about our pamper packages here.
If you or a member of your family have suffered from skin burn and would like a little relief, our magic product recommendation is the Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Chamomile & Aloe Vera After Sun Lotion. It’s an all-natural, easily absorbed, skin-nourishing organic lotion which will soothe your skin and replenish moisture levels.
If you want to find out more about how you can protect your skin from the sun or you’re concerned about a skin condition, you’ll find lots of helpful information on the British Association of Dermatologists website.