How to protect your skin from sun exposure
Tanning as a beauty ideal is a fairly recent concept. In fact, it came into vogue in the summer of 1923 when Coco Chanel returned from a yachting holiday in the Mediterranean Sea and her tanned skin caused a furore among French high society. But in the last century we have learned a lot. We now know that a tan, however attractive it may seem to us, is a response to an external aggression: ultraviolet radiation. To defend itself against the sun’s rays, the skin increases the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colouring, which gives us our characteristic tan.
The risks of sun exposure during the holidays are many and varied, from the slightest, such as the appearance of spots, wrinkles and other signs of photoageing, to the most serious, such as skin cancer. To minimise them, we propose a plan of action that combines diet and cosmetics with the latest generation equipment.
Certain foods help us to strengthen the skin’s defence system, thus minimising the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and prolonging the life of the tan. Marina Domene, nutritionist at SHA Wellness Clinic, encourages us to include in our summer diet “carrots, cabbage, spinach, watercress or chard, as they are a source of carotenes, and enhance the effect of tanning because they increase skin pigmentation. And to drink, start the day with a carrot and apple smoothie because it provides the skin with the hydration it needs to protect it from photo-ageing”.
Bárbara Dalbos, expert in Aesthetic Medicine at SHA Wellness Clinic, warns us that “the sun is the skin’s worst enemy and is responsible for 80% of the signs of ageing. That is why the only healthy and safe tan is the one provided by self-tanning products”. That said, and as the doctor knows that we are going to go to the beach or the pool anyway, she indicates the guidelines to follow to minimise the risks of ultraviolet radiation: “Days before sun exposure it is advisable to exfoliate to remove all the dead cells and impurities from the skin surface and moisturise in depth. In addition, and although there is no sun cream that provides 100% protection, it is essential to use broad-spectrum filters (that block both UVA and UVB) which should be reapplied every two hours, after bathing and whenever we exercise. But just as important, if not more important than the formula used, is the method of application: so that the sunscreen does not lose its effectiveness, two milligrams of cream should be applied per square centimetre of skin, which corresponds to the size of a ping-pong ball for the whole body.
Discover the best selection of sun creams in the cosmetics section of SHA Boutique.
To prepare the skin before sun exposure, Dr. Bárbara Dalbos recommends “the Clear + Brilliant treatment, which is carried out with a very gentle diode laser that removes dead skin cells and smoothes the skin surface, thus favouring an even tan. And to prevent the sun from drying out our skin during the summer, an injectable hyaluronic acid skin booster. With this protocol, we introduce small drops of hyaluronic acid into the dermis to stimulate collagen synthesis and moisturise without adding volume. On the other hand, after exposure, the aim is to repair, regenerate and minimise the damage caused by the sun. Barbara is clear: “the best option is a pulsed light treatment because it is very effective in combating sun spots, vascular lesions and loss of elasticity, and it also stimulates the skin”.