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Protect Yourself

With the summer we've experienced of late, constant exposure to the sun has become the norm.  However, it's crucial to enjoy these conditions without jeopardising our skin and overall health.

The combination of intense sun, high temperatures and humidity in New Zealand puts our skin at a higher risk of damage compared to other places.  I always advise my clients, friends and family to avoid being in the sun during peak hours, typically between 10am and 4pm.  If you do go out, wearing a hat, sun-protective clothing and sunglasses is essential.

For those determined sun-seekers, it's important to understand the risks of repeated or over exposure.  Prolonged sun exposure can lead to dry skin, loss of elasticity and increased visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.  Additionally, freckles and skin pigmentation may appear, causing hyper-pigmentation due to increased melanin production.  Most concerning is the risk of skin cancer, with ultraviolet radiation from the sun being the primary cause.

Sunscreen is crucial for shielding your skin, but many people are not sure about how sun protection works and how to apply it correctly.  Here are a few important points to consider.

Beware of both UVA and UVB rays:  While UVB rays cause burning and skin cancer, UVA rays contribute to premature aging.  Look for products labelled 'broad spectrum' to ensure protection again both types of rays.  Ingredients such as avobenzone or zinc oxide indicate protection against UVA rays.

Use a higher SPF for longer protection:  SPF (Sun Protection Factor) gives an indication of the time it takes for your skin to burn when using that sunscreen compared to no sunscreen.  For example, SPF 30 provides approximately 300 minutes of protection, but this does vary from person to person and reapplication is necessary after swimming or sweating.

Apply sunscreen generously:  Use enough sunscreen to cover your entire body adequately.  Aim for approximately one teaspoon per limb to ensure the stated SPF on the bottle is effective.  Using too little product may significantly reduce the level of protection.  By following these guidelines and taking precautions, you can enjoy the sun safely and minimize the risk of sun-related skin damage and health issues.

Amelia | Beauty Aspects