Summer is just around the corner and whether you are heading down to the fine sandy beaches or up to the mountains, the sun is sure to be with you. With the first warm rays of sunshine you want to strip off and soak up the heat to feel good and get a bit of summer color … Be warned, despite the good it does, too much sun can age the skin and cause permanent damage. To better understand the effects of sunlight you have to know the different ultra violets, A and B, are both bad for your skin. UVB partially penetrate the skin and 10 to 20% reach the dermis. They cause erythema (skin burn) that reaches its maximum intensity 24 hours after exposure to sunshine. UVB can destroy the epidemic cells but also act deeper and modify the DNA and molecular proteins that later can cause skin cancer. UVA store less energy than UVB and therefore also penetrate the skin while 20 to 30% reach the mid-dermis. UVA activate melanin synthesis in other words, the UVA sun tanning process.
Why protect the skin?
There are two types of UV impact, an early effect (sun burn) and a secondary effect known as epidermic necrolysis that can lead to molecular anomalies. An effective protection will block these two negative effects.
What sort of protection and how? It is important to know fair skins are more sensitive to the negative impacts of the sun. The time of day is important also. You should be extremely careful between 11am and 4pm. Protection from the sun concerns everyone, the risk being irreversible skin damage. Protection can mean clothes, a hat, sun glasses and obviously sun lotions. The best clothes arer close-knit garments, preferably dark colored.
Each individual should choose the texture he or she prefers. Finally, for optimum protection and to ensure everyone gets the most from the summer, the cream should be applied regularly.
What product to choose from among the increasingly large range on offer?
There are 4 protection categories, low, medium, high and very high. I recommend the two last categories (factor 50+). These sun creams shield against UVB that cause sun burn, and UVA that accelerate the aging of the skin. There is no real difference depending on how they come, cream, liquid cream, gels… Each individual should choose the texture he or she prefers. Finally, for optimum protection and to ensure everyone gets the most from the summer, the cream should be applied regularly; twenty minutes before getting to the beach, after each swim and also every two hours, even if it is a waterproof solution…
So, to sum up, to use a sun cream is good, but with a hat, sun-glasses and a t-shirt it’s even better.
And don’t forget to be even more careful with your children!
Have a good summer!