The best treatments for summer skin care
Preparation before, protection during and repair after are the three keys to making it to September with radiant, healthy skin.
Although that unmistakable summer tan still seems like a coveted beauty ideal, the truth is that it is the body’s response to external aggression. When the skin feels attacked by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation, it defends itself by increasing melanin production, the pigment responsible for skin and hair colour. This keeps the skin from burning and prevents cellular DNA damage. This is why, as Bárbara Dalbos, an expert in Aesthetic Medicine at SHA Wellness Clinic, reminds us, ”the only safe and healthy tan is the one achieved by applying self-tanning products”.
Experts estimate that sun exposure is the main risk factor in the appearance of melanomas and other skin cancers, as well as causing 80% of the signs of ageing. The problem is that most people still see a tan as attractive and, this summer, beaches and swimming pools will be full of people wanting to show off an even, luminous tan. The doctor gives us the guidelines to follow to minimise the risks during the process.
Ensuring that the skin is in perfect condition before the first days of sun exposure is crucial. That is why a facial and body exfoliation is essential a week before getting sun to remove dead cells, pollution particles, toxins, dirt and other impurities that accumulate in the pores, promoting proper oxygenation, strengthening the barrier function and revitalises the skin. Exfoliation also makes it easier for the active ingredients applied afterwards to penetrate the skin and smoothes the surface, resulting in an even tan. Barbara recommends the Clear & Brilliant treatment, “which is performed with a very gentle, micro-fractionated diode laser that removes dead skin cells, tightens pores, improves texture and radiance and requires no recovery period”.
Broad spectrum sunscreens, which protect against both UVA and UVB rays, are the best allies to avoid the harmful effects of the sun. But, as the doctor warns, “how you apply the sunscreen is as important as the formula used. To make sure that it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, two milligrams of cream should be applied per square centimetre of skin, about the size of a ping-pong ball for the whole body. Reapplying every two hours, after every dip and whenever you exercise is also essential”.
Once the holidays are over, it’s time to help the skin regenerate and repair and minimise the sun damage. To do this, Barbara recommends two treatments: “Pulsed light stimulates the skin and is very effective in combating sunspots, vascular lesions and loss of elasticity. On the other hand, the Dual Fraxel treatment, which is performed with a microfractionated laser, eliminates sun damage”.
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