Ageless summer: Put a stop to sun-induced premature ageing
Wrinkles are simply the result of the normal ageing process, right? Wrong. Studies reveal that you can actually blame the sun for 80% of your visible signs of ageing. Our relationship with the sun is ultimately what will determine how old we look at 30, 40, 50 and beyond (in addition to our genetic lottery and lifestyle habits such as diet and smoking). And I’m pretty sure nobody over the age of 18 wants to be told they look older than they actually are — so does this mean we should hermit crab our way to a cave this summer?
Not if you want to be a party pooper. But it does mean we need to reevaluate our sun time fun time and see how we can go about protecting our skin better when venturing outside. And if now you’re thinking “But I don’t sun tan, so I’m all good” — hold your horses, buddy! The important thing to remember is that UV damage can occur without tanning or burning. UV radiation can inflict significant damage on our DNA and our skin’s protective barriers just by going about our everyday activities such as driving (our car windows offer zero UV protection), going for a morning jog, enjoying an al fresco lunch at our favourite cafe, doing a coffee run, and weeding the garden.
Signs of sun-induced ageing
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Loss of elasticity
- Pigmentation and sun spots
- Dryness and coarse texture
- Broken blood vessels
- Thinning, loosened skin
Summer skin safety tips
Avoid the midday sun
The hours around lunchtime are when UV levels are at their peak, so this is when you should be cooling off in the shade or under shelter.
Use SPF 30+ UVA/UVB sunscreen on exposed body parts even when you’re out driving or going for a quick walk to the shops. Don’t slack off on re-applying either if you’re enjoying a full day outdoors.
Put a hat on it
Wear a hat and sunglasses outside to avoid repetitive squinting, which can lead to crow’s feet.
Avoid IPL and laser treatments
IPL machines and lasers must be avoided if you’re sporting a tan. This is because the machines can’t tell the difference between your tanned skin and the hair or pigmentation it’s trying to treat. If your skin has tanned 4-6 weeks in the lead up to your appointment, cancel it and reschedule.
Include a product containing aloe vera into your skincare regimen during summer (such as a cleanser, toner or moisturiser). It’s an easy way to give your skin the sun-soothing, hydrating and moisturising benefits of aloe vera without diverging from your daily routine.
What if the damage is done?
If you’ve already suffered a bad sunburn or have noticed wrinkles, skin mottling or hyperpigmentation arise as a result of your sun-frolicking — don’t despair. While prevention is always better than a cure, you can seek advice from a qualified skin therapist who may prescribe you with a course of LED light therapy machine skin brightening facials or IPL pigmentation treatments once the cooler months roll around.