What the sun actually does to our skin
The skin is a wonderful record keeper! Every time you expose your skin to daylight, your skin adds it up like money in the bank – the trouble is, the payoff is premature ageing, wrinkles, discolouration and the risk of skin cancers.
UVA & UVB
UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis of the skin, causing damage at a cellular level and is therefore responsible for most skin cancers as well as being the main cause of wrinkles, discolouration and other signs of ageing. It’s quite shocking to know that 80-90% of the ageing we see on our skin is down to environmental factors like UVA rays. UVB rays are shorter than UVA rays and cause the burn or tan effect in the skin, as well as cancer.
Collagen breakdown and changes to elastin
In the dermis, UV radiation causes collagen to breakdown at a higher rate than natural ageing and causes the accumulation of abnormal elastin, eventually leading to very loose skin and wrinkles.
Changes in the dermal blood vessels
UV radiation also causes the walls of blood vessels to become thinner, leading to minor trauma in sun-exposed areas. It can also result in broken capillaries.
Desert island skincare
The good news is that while the summer is a challenging time for your skin, you don’t need a bucket of products to keep your skin healthy. My advice is to keep it simple; I think of it like desert island skincare, the bare essentials to protect and repair your skin during the summer…
A good cream cleanser
My favourite type of cleansers are cream-based as they can be used to dissolve make-up, sunscreens, sebum and environmental toxins. I love the Replenish Cream Cleanser. Always double cleanse at the end of the day; the first cleanse will remove everything else you have on your skin, the second cleanse will actually clean your skin and pores. Always make time to cleanse – just because you’re on holiday it doesn’t mean you can sleep in your make-up!
A universal toner
Toners are in a different league from what they used to be. Now we use them to refresh, hydrate, balance skin’s pH and even as a chilled eye compress on cotton pads for travel-tired eyes, so it’s definitely worth packing one. Try the Replenish Gentle Toner.
Research has shown that even with a great SPF, UV rays can cause a cascade of damage. They stimulate free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause damage to DNA. The use of an antioxidant serum is vital to help quench that damage, so use one under your SPF every day in the morning. My favourite antioxidants are vitamin C and E, which are powerhouses at reducing UV-related free radicals and also minimising pigmentation. Both antioxidants are in the Replenish Collagen Boosting Serum.
Sun protection factor
We should never, ever let our skin burn. SPF won’t stop you from tanning (only a full block can do that, like thick zinc oxide) but you can protect your skin from the ageing effects of UVA. Look for broad spectrum - I love the Daily UV Defence SPF50 which has powerful vitamin C and a lovely light texture that won’t clog pores.
I am a strong believer in taking skin-speciﬁc supplements as they can get to the dermis of the skin to provide extra antioxidant protection for skin cells. Some supplements even have the ability to reduce sun-induced redness and inﬂammation. The NEW Tan & Defend Skin Supplement gives extra support during the summer and contains vitamins C and E plus NutroxSun™ to help protect against environmental defence and support a more even skin tone.