South Africa is indeed a very sunny country, which is why we love it (of course). Even during winter we have balmy days that seem to quickly defrost any limbs that might have caught a chill during the evening temperature drop. But all this sun brings its own set of health problems. Skin cancer is on the rise in South Africa, and not just among Caucasians – everyone is at risk. Premature skin ageing caused by excessive sun exposure is also becoming a problem for many individuals.
From A to B
Even though South Africans spend less time outside in Winter months as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter in May, right through winter, we are all still at risk of getting UV damage during this period. Yes, we physically get less sun and yes, the sun’s rays are not as warm as usual but don’t forget that there are many different types of light rays that cause sun damage.
UVB rays cause the sunburn (and skin cancer), but it is UVA rays that cause cellular ageing deep within our skin cells by damaging our cell DNA. UVA exposure leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin and triggers irregular melanin production (hyperpigmentation). UVA rays can also penetrate glass and clouds so do not think you’re protected if you live in an area where you get winter rain.
Increasing studies are finding that the blue light (HEV light) emitted by our devices are also damaging to our skin. Considering how much time we’re spending with devices up close and personal; it would be worth applying UV protection even if we don’t work outside.
So now that we’ve convinced you to apply UV protection every day of the year, what should you look out for and how should you apply it? Here are some useful pointers to help you protect your skin day in and day out no matter what season it is.
- Go broad as in broad spectrum. Opt for a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light like the ZO® Skin Health Daily Sheer SPF 30 or the Colorescience® Daily UV Protector SPF 30.
- If you’re stressed for time, choose a multi-tasking sunscreen. The Colorescience® Brightening Perfector Face Primer SPF 20 and ZO® Skin Health Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30, not only protects against UVA and UVB but also brightens and hydrates the skin and creates a smooth canvas for your makeup.
- Use a formula that works for you. Let’s face it, not all formulas will work for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. Colorescience® offers a variety of sun protection products to help you protect your skin, the Natural Finish Pressed Foundation SPF 20 and Sunforgettable® Brush-on Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 are mineral powders that can be layered over make-up and reapplied throughout the day to offer you all-day protection. If sheer and smart is what you’re after, then try the ZO® Skin Health Smart Tone SPF 50 it’s ultra-lightweight and will blend into almost any skin colour.
- Layer your SPF. Layering sunscreen is not a mathematical solution, meaning if you apply a sunscreen, then a primer and then a foundation all containing UV protection it won’t bring you to an 80 SPF. What it will do, however, is make sure that you’re applying enough UV protection to protect your skin as an SPF should be applied liberally. We do however recommend choosing sheer solutions that easily absorb if you are going to layer your UV protection.
The science behind sun and skincare
Colorescience® is a skin and sun care brand developed to offer consumers the highest quality of skin protection and care against UV light. The products are award-winning and offer exceptional sun protection, nourishing skin benefits and richly pigmented colour in extraordinarily light formulations. Colorescience® is made from 100% healthy, high-integrity minerals, pigments and nourishing ingredients, including antioxidants, peptides, breathable zinc and titanium dioxide. Their range is comprehensive and diverse so that every consumer can find a product that is suitable to them.
ZO® Skin Health is an innovative skincare range developed by Dr. Zein Obagi, a dermatologist and leader in the field of skin health, to offer result-orientated and skin healthy solutions. ZO® products are of the highest quality and the formulations are based on the latest advances in skin therapy technologies to provide comprehensive and continuous skin health solutions for all skin types, genders and ages. Each product is developed to maintain healthy skin that is strong, smooth and firm, evenly toned, and fully hydrated.