THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UVA AND UVB IN SUN CARE PRODUCTS
With the growing risk of skin cancer, protecting yourself against the sun has become more important than ever before. We’ve all had the basics drummed into us since childhood. Wear a wide brimmed hat. Seek shade during the hottest part of the day. And, of course, lather on the sun cream.
But the more we learn about the damaging effects of the sun’s rays, the less inclined we will be to let our complexion-protecting routine slip. So, how exactly does that fiery star in our solar system wreak such sunburn-creating, wrinkle-making, age-spot-forming havoc?
Rays, that’s how.
The sun’s harmful rays can be split into two types: Ultra Violet A and Ultra Violet B. Here we take a look at the USPs of both summertime foes so you can arm yourself with the right sun-cream factor. Go forth and get some vitamin D… safely.
UVA – The Facts
1. UVA rays make up about 95% of the total UV radiation hitting the earths’ surface
This means that they are present – with roughly the same intensity – throughout all daylight hours, from the mid-afternoon glare to the late afternoon sunset.
2. UVA rays penetrate to the middle layer of the dermis
These rays penetrate much deeper than UVB and are responsible for skin ageing, wrinkling and hyper-pigmentation. UVA is the ultra violet light most commonly associated with tanning. But, bronzed and beautiful as that tan may be, it is still skin damage – and can be storing up untold problems for your future. UVA rays have been linked to skin cancer.
3. Look for a broad-spectrum SPF
This ensures you will be protected against both UVA and UVB rays.
UVB – The Facts
1. If UVA are long-wave rays, UVB are short-wave rays
This basically means that they affect the outer layer of skin, causing super visible damage in the form of sunburn. They penetrate the superficial epidermal layers of the skin but can also cause skin cancer too. In other words, UVB rays are bad news.
2. UVB rays’ intensity varies depending on season, location and time of day
So, while there is always a slight danger of UVB rays in the atmosphere, you are more at risk in the Sahara Desert in the height of summer than you are in rainy London in the depths of winter.
3. As before, opt for a broad-spectrum SPF
And never go lower than SPF 15 with your sun cream.
At Mera, our sun care products are designed to keep you happy and healthy in the sun.
HOW TO DRESS FOR THE SUMMER IF YOU HAVE ECZEMA
It can be really hard to get excited about summer when your skin feels like the Itchy & Scratchy show. Eczema – the skin condition that causes dry, flaky and inflamed skin – certainly has a way of dampening the sunny mood. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Just because you suffer with eczema, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy beach days, floaty sun-dresses and everything else that summer has to offer. In fact, sunlight can really help to improve eczema. While covering up only creates more sweat, which can exacerbate the condition.
So, let your skin breathe!
To help you curate a wardrobe that will be soothing and comfortable to wear, we’ve drawn up our very best eczema-busting tips.
1. Show some skin
When you’re experiencing a skin flare-up, the temptation is to hide away in a muumuu. But this is counter-productive. Overheating in swathes of fabric can make your eczema worse. Which in turn gives you further incentive to cover up. Stop the Catch-22 cycle! UV light has anti-inflammatory properties in small doses and speeds up the healing process of your skin. So, dare to bare your arms, legs, everything.
2. Wear loose-fitting clothing
If your skin is itchy, wearing tight, constrictive clothing will only make it worse. Instead opt for flowing dresses, baggy jumpsuits and floaty kaftans.
3. Steer clear of dyes
Coloured dyes can provoke reactions in super-sensitive, eczema-prone skin. It’s much safer to stick to neutral, organic hues.
4. Go for cotton everything
Cotton is great for eczema sufferers because it is so soft. The quality of the fabric helps to keep skin irritation to a minimum. Synthetic fabrics like polyester, however, should be avoided at all costs.
ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT SPF FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Summertime has finally arrived. Which can mean only one thing: sun, and lots of it. But before you shed all your clothing and prepare to lie out and catch some rays, make sure to arm yourself with some information about sunscreens. It’s important that you apply the correct factor to protect your complexion against both harmful UVB and UVA rays.
UVB rays burn the superficial layers of the skin, which can cause heat rash, skin peeling and painful redness. Meanwhile, UVA rays penetrate deep below the outer dermis of the skin and are responsible for wrinkles and premature ageing. You need to increase your skin’s defences, to help create a barrier against the insidious powers of the sun.
To figure out which SPF is right for you, take your skin type into consideration. Really the intensity of the sun is largely irrelevant. You should be wearing adequate sunscreen whether you’re in your back garden or a beach on the Cote D’Azur. So, lather it on and reapply it regularly
Here’s our guide to finding your SPF:
1. For fair skin
SPF15 shields skin from about 93% of UV radiation. This level of protection incrementally as you increase in factors. So, for example, SPF30 filters 97% of the UV radiation and SPF 50+ filters 98%. Although this may seem like only a minute difference, if you have fair skin, your skin needs all the help it can get. Go for the highest SPF you can find, and keep your sunscreen topped up throughout the day.
2. For oily skin
Even if you’re lucky enough to tan, you should never go without sun protection. Exposure to UVA rays can cause irreparable damage to your skin, which, unlike sunburn is not immediately visible. Making it all the more dangerous. That said, you can probably get away with wearing a lower SPF. But never go using a sunscreen with lower than SPF10.
3. For sensitive skin
The Frezyderm sunscreen for sensitive skin is so delicate and soothing, it can even be used during pregnancy. With only inorganic filters, the product is suitable for sensitive and photosensitive skin, it protects against the harmful effects of the sun without causing any irritation to the skin.
4. For acne-prone skin
If you have oily or blemished skin, wearing a sunscreen can very often exacerbate the situation. The rich formula clogs the pores and can lead to further spots and pimples. But this is not an excuse to forgot sun protection entirely. Oh no. Instead, opt for something with an oil-free base.
SMOOTH OUT YOUR WRINKLES WITH OUR TOP TIPS
Wrinkles are a natural part of every woman’s life, and yet they continue to be one of our most common complaints and daily sources of stress. Spotting those first few lines around the eyes can be incredibly daunting, leading women to consider expensive options such as Botox or surgery-still, many are not prepared to take these extreme and highly intrusive measures. Luckily, we have some tips for those of you who would rather avoid going under the knife and prefer to fight this battle naturally. Remember, wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, but there are some measures that can be taken to prevent and minimise their premature appearance.
Get on that Vitamin C train
At this point, you will probably already be familiar with the many benefits of Vitamin C, but have you ever considered putting it on your face? Using rose water, for example, as well as other mixtures from foods high in Vitamin C (such as lemon, orange and tomato juice, as well as pineapple flesh or papaya) as face masks can encourage your skin to produce more collagen, which in turn smooths out those wrinkles.
Work out your face
Yes, facial fitness is a thing! It’s new, it’s hip and you can access full face workouts to help tone those facial muscles and tighten your skin. Best thing about them? You can easily do these exercises anywhere: in front of the TV, whilst doing your chores and even at the workplace (just make sure that your co-workers don’t notice your newly found habit of making funny facial expressions).
It’s called beauty sleep for a reason
Getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night will also help prevent wrinkles and give your skin a fresher look overall. If you are in the habit of tossing and turning during the night, sleeping on your side and stomach can exacerbate the appearance of wrinkles; invest in an anti-wrinkle pillow, or at least ditch those harsh pillows and replace them with softer ones: your skin will thank you in the morning.
A dehydrated skin is more likely to age prematurely, so drink up that water! You should ideally aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day. Eating foods rich in water also helps towards your daily goal of liquid intake, so don’t forget those fruits and vegetables and include them in your daily diet.
Doing the above will help you minimise wrinkles and prevent their formation, but remember that no matter what, they are natural parts of every woman’s life, and therefore you shouldn’t despair at their sight. Having a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the best way to prevent wrinkles, so don’t forget to be positive above all!