How to avoid the perils of sun damage!

Aww, we cooed, when last week we came across family time pics of the Jolie-Pitt clan, happily frolicking on a beach on theGalapagos Islands. With a holiday fund large enough for such lavish retreats, the pictures showed Brangelina as the typically doting parents, tending to their sand-covered, wanna-jump-in-the-ocean brood with a watchful eye.

But these holiday scenes also got us thinking about factors other than sand-filled swimsuits involved in enjoying a beach holiday; factors of the sun protection kind.

With more and more people flying out to hotter countries in a bid to avoid the bitter British weather, sun damage to skin is becoming an area of heightened concern. With holiday season looming, it’s even more important to figure out what level of sun protection your skin needs in advance of jetting out to sun-scorched, far flung islands.

But don’t be fooled, for sun damage to your skin won’t only come as part and parcel of a sunny break in Spain. No. Even winter sun is capable of harming your skin, alongside a whole host of other ‘burning’ activities.

After natural sunlight, sun beds are the major culprits in contributing to sun damaged skin. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun and tanning beds causes damage to the molecules in our skin, and prolonged exposure to UV radiation can result in unsightly visible after-effects, such as fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, discoloured areas of the skin known as mottled pigmentation, and, worse still, skin cancer.

Although there is no way to effectively ‘stop’ UV radiation reaching us, we can prevent its direct effects on our skin by taking precautions. So, alongside kaftans, bikinis and cocktails, this holiday season it’s equally important to stock up on SPF’s, otherwise known as sun protection factor.

SPF’s come in two forms: chemical and physical. Chemical SPF’s, also known as more commonly as sunscreens, take around 30 minutes to work, and therefore it is important to apply chemical SPF products well in advance of sun exposure. As light hits the skin chemical SPF’s diffuse UV radiation, but over the day, the effect of the SPF can decrease, which means it is important to re-apply

Physical SPF’s, otherwise knows as sunblock, totally cut off contact between skin and sunlight. Sitting on the skin, this protectant formula contains no chemicals that are absorbed by the skin; instead UV radiation is ‘bounced away’ every time and doesn’t enter the skin.

With several sun protection brands on the market, it can be difficult to opt for the correct level for your skin, and that’s why we’ve hunted down a one-stop destination for all your sun skin care woes.

Offering various Harley Street style services, including anti-ageing treatments, skin peels, laser hair removal across skin clinics nationwide, DestinationSkin offer a free 30-minuute skin consultation with an expert practitioner to talk through your concerns, and can advise on treatments designed to help sun damaged skin recover and get back to its best.

So, if you’re a sucker for sun beds, try to stick to the trusty St Tropez bottle for an equally healthy-looking (and safer) glow (we are grateful to the TOWIE lot for their fake tan addiction!).

Or, if you’re sun-deprived like us and can’t resist a sunny lie down, ensure to slap on enough sun protection to prevent looking like Madge from Benidorm. (Google her!)

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