THE SALE AND ALTRINCHAM MESSENGER 2 MAY 2013
SUNCREAM – HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE IT?
Q – A friend of mine wears sun cream every day, but surely that isn’t necessary with the weather we have most of the time?
A – Your friend is absolutely doing the right thing – it is a very common misconception that clouds offer us significant protection from the harmful effects of the sun. Although clouds are very effective at blocking visible light, they block out little of the ultraviolet light (UV) which causes damage to the skin.
There are two types of UV light which affect the skin. UVB rays are absorbed by the top layer of the skin (the epidermis), causing cells to produce melanin (which in the short term shows as a tan, but in the longer term can result in hyperpigmentation, or sun spots). UVA rays, on the other hand, penetrate deeper into the skin, reducing the collagen and elastin present in the middle layer (the dermis). Damage to this layer causes significant ageing of the skin, and causes associated wrinkles.
My advice to patients is to always wear a good, strong (SPF 30+) sunscreen on their face and neck (and don’t just rely on moisturisers or foundation with SPF included, the low-grade protection is insufficient). Although cheaper creams can be slightly greasy, a better quality cream will still allow you to wear make-up on top, such that applying it can become part of your morning routine.