There are many reasons to love the sun ...
But we have to be conscious of the harm it can cause if we don’t take precautions (we’re looking at you UVAs and UVBs). We want to encourage you to embrace the sun rather than hide away because that Vitamin D can be blissful.
There are some long-lasting effects of sun exposure.
Symptoms of collagen changes include fine lines, deeper wrinkles, a thickened skin texture and easy bruising on sun-exposed areas.
When your body defends itself against UV rays, your skin tans or darkens which admittedly, we do like a little of. But, too much sun exposure allows UV rays to reach your inner skin layers. You know this as sunburn. Not only does this give you a rather un-welcomed red tint on the outer skin surface, but this can also cause catastrophe on the inside where skin cells die, damage, or develop cancer. It really is serious stuff. When your skin gets burnt, white blood cells help create new cells. Doing this can put your immune system at risk in other areas.
Then there are the after-effects of aging and leathery skin with dark spots.
It can be all too confusing with UVAs and UVBs. What’s the difference and why are they harmful? Ultraviolet (UV) rays are emitted by the sun and can be divided into two types, UVA and UVB. Both affect the skin but in a different way and it’s important to get to grips with these when choosing the right sun protection.
UVA rays are present all year round – as long as there’s daylight, there’s UVA.
And these are more of a worry as they can penetrate deep into the skin. The risks? Age damage, wrinkles, and skin cancers. The worrying thing is that you don’t feel them doing their damage. UVA rays can even penetrate glass so be wary when choosing the window seat.
The intensity of UVB rays varies depending on factors such as geographical location, time of the day and location.
UVB rays penetrate and damage the outermost layers of your skin. Overexposure causes suntan, sunburn and, in severe cases, blistering. UVB rays can damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes or on reflective surfaces like snow or ice. So don’t think it’s only the summer months that affect your skin!
But despite the risk factors of UVA and UVB rays, as long as you protect your skin, you can happily enjoy the outdoors and get your glow on.
You might have heard of skin pigmentation and chloasma… especially in a heightened hormonal time of a woman’s life such as pregnancy and whilst taking the contraceptive pill (due to a constant release of progesterone). It’s a common skin disorder yet many are still not familiar with it.
Melasma typically appears for the first time between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more likely to affect those with darker skin types or tanned skin and most commonly appears on the face. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight deepens the pigmentation by activating the melanocytes to produce more melanin.
Your body produces melanin to protect you from the sun – an overproduction shows up as brown spots and hyperpigmentation. Sun is the number one culprit when it comes to hyperpigmentation so pop on your widest brimmed hat (your on-trend), seek that shade and always team with an SPF!
If you feel it’s time to seek a little support for these conditions, we recommend IPL photorejuvenation for an ultimate treatment. It breaks down the pigment, then lifts the pigment off the surface of the skin, to leave a beautiful, clear and fresh complexion, age spot free! From cheeks and nose to full face and hands, your skin will look young again and feel renewed.
Direct Needle Therapy is another skin rejuvenation treatment that also helps with reduction in appearance of melasma. The treatment utilises the body’s own healing technique to break down any scar tissue or patches of discolouration and allows the skin to repair itself as new.
Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical exfoliation technique to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin. It is a mechanical process using a diamond head to exfoliate together with a vacuum to remove the dead skin cells leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. The treatment helps to improve irregularities on the surface of the skin and to reduce fine lines, pigmentation marks and shallow acne scars.
Sunscreen isn’t just for holidays, it’s an everyday essential. Our UV protection skincare gives you just the skin you want without compromise. Be generous not sparing and cover all areas.
Always play it safe. While we all need some sun exposure so our bodies can make vitamin D (which helps the body absorb calcium essential for bone health), too much sun exposure can cause quite some damage.
Between September and May in New Zealand – especially between 11 am and 4 pm, pay particular attention to protection and regular top up’s and plan your exposure where possible. Check out Melanoma New Zealand for more information on sun exposure times and skin lesions.
Your best sun defence is:
Sip on that H2o to keep your body and skin hydrated. Being H2O happy means upping your intake of water to naturally detoxify and flush out any impurities. The sun and generally spending more time being active outdoors can dehydrate you quickly so carry that bottle with you at all times to keep topped up. The best thing is, a splash of wellness is refreshing and free!
Yep, you might not initially think it but the correct diet, keeping the gut and immune system balanced, supplementation, and helping digestion, gives you the best chance of keeping your skin a-glow! Think of nourishing your body and boosting your immunity. Your body was created to feel amazing from inside out.
Slip into some shade to get extra cover while still feeling the benefits of being outdoors. Try a leafy tree or a large umbrella and embrace nature and the social side the summer brings. And don’t forget to slap on a hat… where style and sun protection come together in a favorite accessory of many. Get your glam on and give yourself some portable shade.
But it’s not just your skin… reach for your sunnies because UV rays can also damage the tissue in your eyes and burn the cornea.
Sunscreen isn’t just for holidays, it’s an everyday essential. Carry at all times to re-apply just as you would your lippy! Our products can give you just the skin you want without compromise. Be generous not sparing and cover all areas. Leave nothing for those rays to attack and ensure you choose the best option for you and your skin type.
Our top tips for sunburn recovery are:
Even though you might have been on point with the majority of your skincare protection this summer, we do understand that sunburn can be a sneaky culprit and catch you out when you least expect it. If you did get a little too much ‘colour’ over the holiday period, try these tips to recover.
Following sun damage, your skin is in desperate need of hydration to help it with the repair and recovery process. Using a product like Ultraceuticals SunActive Face and Body Recovery Cream will help look after your sun damaged skin. The fast-acting formula contains ingredients like soy bean extract and Vitamin E to reduce irritation caused by sun exposure. Pure aloe vera is also a very soothing way to hydrate and soothe burnt skin.
Use cold damp towels for 10 -15 minutes on affected areas a few times a day to release some of the heat (like you would any other burn). Alternatively, take a cool refreshing bath and add a few ingredients to the water like lavender oil (relieves sting), baking soda (helps with irritation and redness), and apple cider vinegar (acts as a topical anti-inflammatory).
Sunburns can lead to dehydration so drink lots of water in the first few hours after the initial burn. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol which will dehydrate you even further.
Try not to touch the affected areas, unless it’s to apply an after sun cream, as this will only seek to irritate your skin further. Wear loose clothing to avoid any painful contact with heavy or itchy fabrics, and of course do not exfoliate your skin until well after it’s fully recovered. Tempting as it may be, make sure not to pop any blisters – they’re there for a reason! Your skin will heal itself with due time.
It may seem obvious, but staying out of the sun while your skin is repairing is essential for proper recovery from sun damage.
If you are feeling very ill, dizzy, weak, nauseous get in touch with a health professional.
Allow a face mask to become part of your weekly routine. Reset, regain and revive your whole body and mind with skin nutrition.
We have loved Ultra Hydra-Marine Mask (link to product) all summer long and it can carry you through to the next season. For those with dehydrated skin looking for an SOS treatment to rehydrate and re-plump the skin in 5 minutes whilst offering an immediate radiance boost, this is just the ticket. An instant re-plumping effect, smoothes and rehydrates in just 5 minutes. Containing 2 Hyaluronic Acids and Sève Bleue des Océans to offer your skin immediate hydration and an incredible plumping result. Voila!