Do you sometimes wish you could turn back the clock when it comes to your skincare routine and do things a little different?
There are quite a few things I would’ve changed much earlier on, but the biggest one must be: not wearing sunscreen every single day.
Until about 3 years ago I never thought of sunscreen as skincare - not in an every-single-day kind of way anyway. It was more optional and only really when I went on holiday somewhere sunny.
But sunscreen IS skincare and I now know it’s actually the most important step of all.
So much of the time, money and energy we spend on products, routines and treatments are to try and fix, reverse and slow down things like fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and saggy skin - all caused, or at least accelerated by sun damage. It’s said that an estimated 90% of of skin ageing is caused by the sun.
Too much sun ages us because exposure to ultraviolet light destroys elastin, promotes fine lines, wrinkles and a blotchy, ruddy complexion. It also damages the chromosomes in our skin cells and can lead to skin cancer. While skin is at its most vulnerable during the summer months, it’s at risk of sun damage all year round.
That’s mainly because there are 2 types of Ultraviolet rays: UVA & UVB. UVA rays penetrate the deepest and are responsible for premature signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and sagging skin. UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburn. UVB rays are a little weaker during the winter months and we don’t get sunburn as easily, but UVA rays can cut through glass and cloud cover (up to 70-80%), and are strong all year round.
Sunscreen advice and reminders are usually everywhere when we head into the summer holidays, but it’s easy to slip back into sunscreen-free days when we get back home and into our normal routines.
Wearing a high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB every single day, no matter the weather is really the best possible anti ageing, skin-protecting investment you can make - even before figuring out the rest of your routine.
Remember to reapply when out and about and don’t forget your hands, neck and ears.
Sunscreen is for life, not just for summer.