Broad Spectrum Sun Protection Products

You are conscious that those UV rays are going to age you so you've been wearing a sunscreen every day now since your 30s.

Added to that there’s SPF in your moisturiser and make up too so why is your skin still showing signs of ageing? Those ever increasing lines and tell tale wrinkles coupled with the nasty brown spots that are forming…. What's the point in religiously using an SPF if it doesn’t eradicate these problems? Sun exposure starts a lot earlier than we think.

About 25% of the damage is done before we are 20 years old. Do you ever remember putting on sun cream before you went out to play all day during the school holidays? Not many people do! Then most of us spent our 20’s slathering on the coconut oil and frying by the pool during holidays in the sun thinking that the more you burned, the better the resulting tan!

Thankfully, we are all now wiser as to the real facts about sun damage but our ignorance earlier in life has been slowly working its way to the surface of our skin. All that previous damage is now visible. We are now painfully aware that sun damage is actually caused by UV light and this is prevalent every day of the year. If there's daylight - there's UV. Many of us were not aware that there are two main components to UV light that we are exposed to. These are UVA and UVB. UVB is the one that burns the skin and is very present on a bright sunny day.

However, more of the damage is caused by UVA: it's the thing that ages us; makes the skin cell die off that bit faster; damages the cell's DNA, increases the sensitivity of the skin and penetrates the skin much more deeply. It’s less noticeable, because we don't feel UVA in the same way as UVB, so we're less aware of it. A simple way to remember this distinction between the two wavelengths is "B" is for 'Bright', it Burns and it Browns you but " A" is for 'Ageing' and 'Allergies' This is why we need to protect our skin every day and not just on the hot, sunny days.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security thinking that it's okay, my skin will be fine as my moisturiser contains SPF so I’m getting plenty of protection...... While this may be partly true with respect to sunburn, unless the SPF actually says " broad spectrum UVA/ UVB" then it will ONLY contain UVB protection. The actual levels of SPF in most products such as moisturisers and foundations are usually around factor 10-15 which is pretty low. What is needed, is a broad spectrum sun protection product which will provide the ultimate UVA protection that your skin needs to halt any further damage.

We would recommend SPF of factor 30-50 and high UVA * rating ( 5 is ideal) Our particular favourite sun protection products are Heliocare Advanced, Heliocare 360 and Elizabeth Arden Pro TAP and are all available to buy from us in clinic or over the phone. Take the first step in sun damage prevention and reduce further skin exposure. Make sure you don't leave the bathroom without your sunscreen - we don't! Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog on how the visible sun damage can be treated.

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