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Do you need an SPF to prevent ageing and sun damage? Here’s your answer…

Spring is finally here and we can’t wait to welcome the sunshine! The only thing I can remember about my summer holidays as a child is my Mum plastering us from head to toe in thick, white sun cream… so when a Doctor told me I should be wearing this paste everyday as an adult, I had other ideas!
After many years of training in this industry, I am now very aware of the harmful effects of the sun. Have you seen any more freckles or brown spots present on your skin in the last 5-10 years? These sit like an iceberg, with a tiny area visible on the surface and a much larger area underneath. Left untreated, this damage will migrate closer to the surface of the skin and cause clusters of brown spots… just what we need along with the fine lines and crepey skin that starts to appear as we age!
These photos below are from one of our clients who had her skin analysed under the UV skin scanner at The Hampton Clinic in Bristol. This is how the sun sees your skin. Notice how prominent the freckles and pigmentation is beneath the surface? Even though she has looked after her skin for the last few years, she also lived abroad for many years, and this damage is only just making its way to the surface.

It creates a block from UV rays so they cannot reach your skin cells and damage the DNA within the cell. If the DNA get damaged, there is a chance it can mutate and cause cancerous cells. Why am I taking the risk of not using an SPF I thought? It doesn’t feel like the thick paste that my Mum vigorously pummelled into my skin and it keeps my skin nice and hydrated! I’ve been a convert ever since.
Truck driver skin

Now the bit you need to know….

UVB is the ray that tans you (and burns you!) and UVA is the ‘ageing’ ray, and unfortunately its present all year around! It annoyingly penetrates through your clothes and even through windows… so stay protected! This truck driver is a great example of how UVA radiation has penetrated through his window and broken down his collagen almost irreversibly. He has been driving a truck for the past 28 years, without wearing an SPF!

Top Tips when looking for a good SPF:

  • Ensure it protects from UVA & UVB rays
  • Look for the words ‘Broad Spectrum’
  • If you have oily skin, go for a Matte SPF. If you have dry skin, go for a Hydrating SPF. If you have uneven skin tone, a Tinted SPF can work a treat!
  • Chemical SPF’s take around 45 minutes to start working on your skin once applied. Mineral SPF’s work immediately and usually contain Zinc Oxide which is a great ingredient for sensitive skins. Zinc can sometimes make an SPF quite thick so it also comes in a powder form.
  • It’s the last product you apply in the morning
  • It should be applied every 2 hours, especially when exposing yourself to the sun.

We love:

  • Heliocare Gel SPF 50 (Fab for everyone)
  • Heliocare Hydragel SPF 50 (Great tinted SPF for a drier, more mature skin)
  • IMAGE Tinted Oil Free SPF 30 (No greasy feeling)
  • IMAGE Hydrating SPF 30 (Aloe Vera base, great for sensitive skin)
  • IMAGE Matt SPF 32+ (A great base for foundation on a combination skin)
  • Brush On Block SPF 30 (A powder SPF containing Zinc Oxide, this is perfect to apply over make up and suitable for husbands & children as well!)

We have these brilliant SPF’s available at The Hampton clinic in Bristol. To book your FREE Skin Analysis, call us on 0117 973 4444.
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