If you thought that UV protection was something you only need to worry about later in life, think again. Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in people between the ages of 20 and 29 years old. In fact, the number of young people with skin cancer is rising all the time. Even teenagers and children can be at risk of skin cancer.
This is why it is so important to look beyond basic UV protection, and instead develop a comprehensive protection plan that includes sunscreens and other protection against infra-red, visible light and atmospheric damage. In this mini-guide, we take a look at some of the simple yet effective ways that you can protect your skin against the sun’s rays.
How to Ensure Complete UV Protection
Some of the best ways to ensure total UV protection not only against sun damage, but also atmospheric damage, infra-red, and visible light include the following:
- Wear sunscreen today, and every day. This will save you thousands of rands in the future, avoiding cosmetic procedures that may increase the signs of aging. There is no point getting a decent SPF sunscreen if you are not going to wear it. Always make sure that you test the sunscreen on the back of your hand to see if you like it. Look for an SPF of 30-50, depending on how dark or light your skin tone is naturally. Always choose sunscreens that have the +UVA sign to ensure broad coverage.
- Choose the best sunscreen for your skin type. This will make it easier to get the benefits of sun protection. Oily skins can use oil-free, light lotions, gels or sprays such as oil control or dry touch sunscreens. Dry skins can look for cream formulas that sooth the skin. Sensitive skins can try mineral sunscreens. You could also look for pigmented sunscreens that camouflage and protect your skin. Brands to try include Eucerin, Uriage, and Bioderma.
- Wear the right clothing and sun protection when exercising outdoors. Whether you are running in a race, going for a jog or doing anything else outdoors, do not skip the sunscreen. You can use a gel, oil-free or powder formula if you will be sweating a lot. Don’t forget to wear protective clothing as well. That includes a sun hat or cap, sunglasses, and protective clothing such as long sleeve tops and tights.
- Apply antioxidants topically to fully protect your skin. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and E are good, while other ingredients to look for include green tea, resveratrol, grapeseed oil and niacinamide applied topically. These ingredients help to naturally boost collagen synthesis, inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme, buffer atmospheric damage caused by ozone and infra-red rays, protect against visible light, and protect your skin against inflammation caused by air pollution. Benefits offered by these ingredients include reduced inflammation, reduced photodamage, reduced fine lines, reduced hyperpigmentation, and reduced acne scarring. One ingredient is never enough, however. Instead, look for products that contain all or most of these antioxidants.
Be kind to your skin this summer. Protect it against damaged caused by the sun, and you will soon see how comprehensive UV protection helps your skin.