I’m often asked for my beauty tips as people think I’m at least 5 years younger than my chronological age. My biggest tip is to wear sunscreen. Environmental damage from the sun and pollution (smoking is a terrible pollutant and causer of wrinkles too, fortunately I’ve never smoked).
At the moment here in Melbourne it’s hot, stinkingly hot, and very easy to get burned with extreme UV ratings, so don’t forget to slip, slop, slap.
If you have got burned what do you do?
Sunburn is a burn, so you want to cool the area first, cool it with an icepack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes or so can help to take away some of the pain.
Then moisturise with some after sun, they often contain soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera.
Avoid products with retinol and topical acids, like AHAs and glycolic acid.
Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen every 4 hours, and don’t leave your sunscreen in the car or other very hot place, the ingredients will break down and make the sunscreen ineffective, not something that you want.
If you’re in Australia, count yourself lucky, all sunscreens on the market have to meet Australian Standards, which are high, and so they are all broad spectrum sunscreens, protecting from both UVA and UVB rays. In other countries this may not be so (USA for one), where you’ll need to read the fine print to make sure that you get the full protection of a broad spectrum sunscreen.
What does the SPF mean? Sun Protection Factor, basically, how long you can stay out in the sun with the sunscreen on without getting burned. In an Australian environment where it takes an average of only 10 minutes to get burned in summer, an SPF 15 means that you get 150 minutes of time in the sun, doesn’t matter if you reapply after 150 minutes, you will still get burned after your 150 minutes is up. In Australia sunscreens are only allowed to be labelled up to SPF 30, as the government doesn’t want people to get a false sense of security by being told they have and SPF 100 on, and stay out too long. You may be buying a higher SPF than labelled, but don’t count on it. You still need to reapply the sunscreen as sweat and the affect of the sun breaking down the ingredients in sunscreen means that it becomes less effective over time.
So, want a magic potion to keep wrinkles at bay? Sunscreen is it.
I totally agree. Sunblock is my secret potion! (Though in January in Canada there is basically no light. Oh, I know UV rays are still around, but trust me, they're almost imperceptible right now :-))
Living in northwestern Germany, I am among the many many people who sometimes look enviously at sunnier countries. Ah, but as there are downsides and upsides to everything, this is the one to this situation. I for one have very light skin (since you do PCA: I'm a typical Light Spring – the hair, the skin) and the only occasion I ever wear sunscreen is when I go out into the direct midday sun for longer then half an hour. If it's after 4.30 pm – I skip sunscreen. If I go into the shadows – I skip sunscreen 80% of the time. If I go into the sun for up to 20 minutes – I skip sunscreen. And I rarely get burned. And it does get hot here, even for longer periods of time. A day of 25-30°C is a nice summer day, a day of 30-35°C is a warm summer day, and a day of 35-40°C is a hot summer day.
But thankfully, even if we here don't need it as much, I think all of our sunscreen meet the Australian Standards. At least I always buy ones that say so, I don't know if there are still any that don't. All I know is EU sunscreen requirements are pretty high.
Talking about all this makes me miss summer even more! 🙂
Sunscreen does, indeed, keep wrinkles at bay, but it also keeps Vitamin D at bay. Our bodies manufacture this vital nutrient from sunlight. Just a moderate amount of sunlight (20 minutes) in the morning before the sun is intense is adequate for most people of European descent. The darker you are, the more light you need to get that Vitamin D. After that, slather on the sunscreen and go!
"doesn't matter if you reapply after 150 minutes, you will still get burned after your 150 minutes is up"
So why bother reapplying then?
I'm a tradeswoman so I live in sunscreen, applied every 3 hours, 7am til 6pm every day from mid November to late April. It definately works, my skin stays very pale compared to the boys and I only get sunburnt on the rare day I forget it.
Anon @1:47's point about Vitamin D is good, but you can get that D on your arms and legs (or torso if you are willing :)), and still wear sunscreen on your face.