The Sun-Smart, Skin-Safe Guide
Updated: Apr 12
Do we need sunshine?
Yes, absolutely and before we look at the do’s and don’ts of summer skincare, let’s first take a look at the many benefits that sunshine bestows on our lives:
Our body creates most of our vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin in order to maintain bone health by enabling calcium and phosphorus absorption. Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Heart Disease and some cancers such as Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Colon Cancer.
Sunshine stimulates the production of serotonin, our happy hormone, improving mental outlook and protecting against SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression) insomnia, and an overactive immune system
Sunny days also motivate us all to get out of the house and do outdoor activities all of which helps to release feel-good endorphins that make you smile!
So while soaking up some of the sun’s rays is advised, we really have to be super-vigilant. According to the Skin Cancer Federation, up to 90% of premature ageing is caused by free radical damage and 55% of ageing free radicals are caused by UV exposure. This brings us back to the Skinceuticals approach - combine a broad spectrum sunscreen that contains UVA and UVB filters with a daily antioxidant to prevent premature ageing of skin and all the harmful baggage that goes with it. Skinceuticals has a range of sunscreens, including the Ultra Facial Defense (SPF 50) which can be combined with CE Ferulic serum to form a potent protective barrier for skin. Protect the sensitive eye area with Skinceuticals Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF30 which has a lightweight tinted texture (all available at The Otto Clinic).
Under the Sun – The 8-Step Sun-Safe Guide:
Hot tip: Use Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum and Ultra Facial Defense (SPF 50) daily ALL YEAR ROUND
Don’t wait till you see the sun – apply broad spectrum sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun
Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours while out in the sun and always after swimming, sweating or exercise
Be water-aware – water magnifies the sun’s radiation so make sure you’re covered with water-resistant sunscreen if spending time in the water
Slap extra protection on your shoulders – they are most exposed and burn easily
Wear a tee-shirt, (preferably white cotton), hat and good sunglasses (that preferably wrap around the eyes to protect against cataracts in later life)
Shade is your best friend – avoid sunbathing between 12 and 4 pm and if you feel you are too exposed or starting to burn, get under the shade and curl up with a good book!
Keep an eye on your moles and check regularly for changes and get a partner or friend to check the ones in hard to see areas
Don’t forget to apply After Sun – essential for maintaining a healthy skin, it will cool, soothe and repair damage caused by UV rays
A final word of caution – when skin starts to redden and “tan”, it’s the body’s way of trying to protect itself! And as we all know Irish skin is possibly the fairest in the world and prone to burning. Not to mention that skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in Ireland...so be sun-smart and get the balance right.
An Otto Clinic skincare professional can create an effective skincare regimen that is tailored to every unique skin type and condition. Our team are extensively trained in the science behind SkinCeuticals and, in consultation with you, can prescribe additional in-clinic treatments that make it possible to achieve your skincare goals.