With the summer in full swing, you might be carrying that sunscreen as if it were a bottle of fresh water in the middle of the Death Valley. Whether you use an SPF in the form of a mist, a stick or a lotion, you might think that you need to cover up at all time to avoid sunburns, skin cancer and other nasty sun damage. Wearing sunscreen at all time is actually a mistake and under a few specific conditions, you should give your skin a break from SPF of all kinds, even the mineral ones.
Expose your skin every day without sunscreen
During the spring-summer season, you should actually expose yourself every day without any sunscreen or protection, for a limited duration that varies according to your skin type. Our mobile app Sun Keeper is here to guide you, it’s a timer that tells you how long is enough. By doing so, not only you help your body pile up on that precious vitamin D that will help you stay strong and healthy through the winter, but it will also boost your mood (thank you serotonin!) and, last but not least, it will gradually help your skin restore its natural sun protection and repair properties. By gently and naturally stimulating your melanin, you will make sure that this pigment is doing its job and gives you optimum protection during future incidental sun exposure.
Expose the largest body surface as possible
To make the most of your unprotected sun exposure and get your vitamin D, you should expose as much of your body as possible, and large areas of skin: legs, arms, back… by exposing large surfaces of you body to sunlight, you make it easy for your body to capture the energy provided by the UVB through your skin and transform it into vitamin D, following a pretty complex but well-oiled process.
Face, décolleté, hands: special treatment required
While you may like this coveted sun-kissed glow on your sweet little face, as much as a natural tan all over your body because it might make you feel and look good and healthy, you don’t want premature aging to affect your face, your décolleté or your hands and make you look like you’re 10 or 20 years older. Wrinkles, dark spots and skin sagging are direct consequences of overexposure to sunlight, and UVA in particular.
A significant proportion of melanoma occur on the scalp
Because of where it is located (…), your scalp is one of the most exposed parts of your body, with sunlight hitting it consistently pretty much year-round. If you think your hair is protecting it from the sun, don’t be too optimistic since the hair itself provides very low natural SPF. And when you know that a significant proportion of melanomas develops on the scalp, that makes you think twice about what’s going on up there.
Once the hair is damaged, it’s too late
We never really think about the dangers of sunlight for the hair but we should, because it’s almost systematic. From the gradual loss in pigmentation, the deterioration of hair protein, the thinning of hair and accelerated hair loss, our hair is very vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV rays (and environmental aggressors in general). Once damage is done, you can spend as much money as you want in expensive masks or fancy treatments, it’s pointless.
At Skinergies, we like to say that the sun is good until it’s bad. If you’re reasonable and mindful (and without an established skin condition), it’s true. The synergies between sunlight and our skin and body are at the heart of our mission. In a few weeks from now, we’ll be introducing innovative skin care products specifically formulated to help you make the most of incidental sun exposure. Stay tuned!