What does the sun do to our skin?
At last the sun is shining, summer is here and it's time to peel off the layers of woolly, warm winter clothes and set our pale skin free. However, when you hear that UV radiation is the number one cause of early skin ageing and wrinkles you might want to know how to protect your skin before you bare all and soak up some rays. Also, if you were an 80s chick when sunbeds were par for the course for getting a "base" before jetting on holidays there are some things you can do to help with signs of skin ageing due to UV damage.
UV rays: UVA & UVB
UV radiation can be catogorised into UVA and UVB rays. UVA radiation is what causes the familiar red, burned appearance of sun burn on the top layers of skin where as UVA radiation penetrates deeper into your skin and is associated with skin ageing. When you see a sunscreen product which says "broad spectrum" and signifies both UVA and UVB protection this is the type of cover your skin needs.
What are free radicals and how do they effect skin?
When UV radiation reacts with skin the energy produced can disrupt atoms causing an unstable amount of electrons in the outer atomic orbit. Think of it like a group of people in a circle holding hands, spinning round playing ring-a-ring-a-rosie. One person breaks free from the game. Now the circle of people has become unstable which can lead to cell damage and may ultimately lead to skin cancer. Antioxidants can help by donating an electron to the unstable atom's outer orbit limiting the negative effect of this free radical.
What can be done to prevent skin damage and ageing?
Cover up: The best thing any person can do to protect their skin is to cover up and stay out of the sun especially during mid day. However this may not always be possible and of course we do want to enjoy the sun and stay safe.
Use broad spectrum SPF: Now that we know about UVA and UVB radiation check your SPF to ensure that it protects against both. Most modern sun screens do but it is always best to double check. In fact in the EU sunscreen must comply with certain regulations so if you are buying within the EU you can be assured that your SPF is compliant. The SPF (15, 30, 50 etc) relates to the level of protection from UVB radiation. The circle with UVA inside shows that the sun screen has UVA protection and it is usually accompanied with a star rating. The more stars the better the protection with 5 stars being the most achievable.
We love the Body Shop's Vitamin C Glow protection lotion SPF 30 available on the body shop website. In Ireland you must buy in store only unfortunately.
Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion SPF30
Use products with antioxidants: As explained above antioxidants help limit the effects of free radicals which are a consequence of exposure of the skin to UV light. Look for products with vitamin C and / or vitamin E and when you have returned home from your fun in the sun make sure to get those antioxidants on your skin where they can get to work.
Which Keegan & Co. products contain antioxidants?
After a day in the sun it's time to wash away sand, salt water and spf and prep your skin for an evening of total renewal. Use our Moisturising + Cleansing Balm rich in vitamin E to gently cleanse your facial skin and add those much needed antioxidants.
Moisturising + Cleansing Balm €24.99 100ml
Follow with our Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Night Serum which not only delivers antioxidant rich oils including vitamin E to your skin but also uses Bakuchiol to help with collagen production and skin cell turnover.
Bakuchiol Skin Renewal Night Serum €31.99 30ml
So go enjoy the sun but be careful. Cover up, sit in the shade, get on your sunscreen and a hat and when you get home get out the antioxidant rich products to give your skin a helping hand.