Beauty, Lifestyle

Skin Saviour: Saying yes to SPF this winter

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Featured image: Ron Lach

Think that now summer is over you can pack away that sunscreen? Think again… Damage to your skin leaves it vulnerable to two huge problems: skin cancer and premature ageing.

Injury is caused by two types of rays, UVA and UVB. We tend to think about sun protection on sunny days when there are more UVB rays present.

They affect the superficial layers of the skin, causing sunburn. However, UVA rays are present all year round and they can penetrate deeper layers of the skin causing permanent harm.

They can even travel through glass, unless it has a protective treatment, so if your favourite study spot is next to a window, don’t make the mistake of believing you’re ok just because you’re indoors.

While temperatures may not be soaring (and let’s face it, that’s often the case in British summertime, never mind the winter), it doesn’t mean damaging UVA rays aren’t still streaming through the clouds, heading straight for your face.

It’s no wonder that Jane Wurwand, founder of Dermalogica skincare says: “The single best thing you can do for your skin is wear sunscreen every day.”

According to Cancer Research, around 85% of melanomas are caused by too much ultraviolet radiation. The sun’s rays are also completely non-discriminatory, so don’t go thinking that because you’re a bloke, you should miss out on slapping on some sunscreen too.

Of course, if you’re planning to go skiing or snowboarding this winter, don’t forget that exposure to UV rays increases the further you are above sea level and that snow also reflects light, escalating your chances of sunburn on the piste. You need to use an SPF in the mountains just as much as you would if you were going to the Caribbean.

General winter weather can also leave your skin dry and flaky. So your daily routine needs to change at this time of year to intensify the protection you are giving your skin to help keep it looking its youthful and radiant best. The best way to stay youthful and radiant is to start looking after your skin when you are younger, before the signs of ageing start to show.

So, if you’d rather avoid developing a deadly disease and looking like a handbag by the time you’re 45, what should you do? The answer is to use a broad-spectrum SPF, preferably SPF 30 or 50. This means your skin will be protected from UVA and UVB rays and stand a fighting chance of being healthier and younger looking for longer.

This couldn’t be easier as there are now so many daily moisturisers, BB and CC creams that include an SPF. You don’t have to spend the winter months smelling like a coconut or spending valuable time layering extra products on to your face. Some of our favourite daily mositurisers include; The Body Shop Vitamin E Day Lotion SPF 30 and Clinique Skin Supplies for Men M Protect SPF21

If you’re concerned about skin sensitivity, there are SPF moisturisers formulated especially for you, so break-outs and flare-ups need not be a concern. Some of our favourite moisturisers for sensitivity include; Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Moisturiser SPF30 and La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ Cream SPF 30.

There are also lots of budget options, so saving your skin needn’t come at the expense of any of your regular skincare buys, or make you feel like it costs too much to try. Really, you can’t afford not to. For example; Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Light Moisturiser SPF15 and Bulldog Protective Moisturiser.

About the author / 

Christine Johnstone-Swift

Christine Johnstone-Swift is a Creative Writing student at MMU. She loves fantasy fiction and cake.

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