Skin care - Sun-rays have many advantages: they provide good mood, energy and overall well-being. They are important for many functions of the body as well as mechanisms the skin uses to build a certain self-protection against UV rays. But without the right sun protection and proper care, it can be very uncomfortable for the skin.
How high the selected sun protection should be, generally follows the self-protection time of the skin. This depends on the pigment type of the skin. By nature, light skin (Celtic skin type) has for example a significant shorter self-protection time than a darker skin (Mediterranean skin type). The following applies: the brighter the skin type, the higher the SPF. Sun protection products can extend the individual skin’s own protection and indicate by the declared SPF (sun protection factor) the factor, by which the self-protection time of the skin multiplies. That means how long you can stay in the sun without getting a sunburn. A calculation example: If the skin's own protection time is 5 minutes and the used sun protection is 30, you can stay in the sun for 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) without getting a sunburn.
Sun protection products are available in a wide variety. Excuses like “too white, too greasy, too sticky” can no longer be accepted. Because by now, sun protection can easily be integrated in the daily routine. Intelligent product concepts serve as an “on-top product”, that means they are used when UV-protection is required – if and only if needed. Individually adapted to the daily routine, the products are applied – even above the usual care – without harming the skin permanently with UV filters. A thoroughly developed formula can support a great skin feeling, so that the products can quickly be absorbed and do not leave a sticky feeling on the skin. Preparations, whose skin tolerance is dermatologically confirmed, are particularly suitable for sensitive skin. Even blemished skin does not need to fear oily sun protection products. Oil-free compositions like gels and sprays provide the same protection through modern ingredients and formulas as emulsions. In the evening, sun protection should be thoroughly removed from the skin. A thorough cleansing should always be an integral part of the daily care routine.
Beach Beauty Concept
In addition to pure UV protection, the focus is placed more and more on additional active substances. SPF is not enough anymore. Products with comprehensive ingredient complexes of ingredients are becoming more popular: These additionally provide protection against free radicals, loss of elasticity and light-induced skin aging as well as strong moisture supply.
UV-B rays, that are rich in energy, may cause sunburn but UV-A and infrared (IR-A) components of the rays let the skin age faster. As protection against UV rays, effective light filter substances are used which make them harmless. Physical filters like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide reflect the sun – that has an optically effect as if you had been creamed with white colour, unless the filters are nanoparticles. Cosmetically pleasant are chemical UV filters that penetrate the skin and absorb the UV light to convert into thermal energy.
For the protection against aggressive free radicals and loss of elasticity and moisture, several very effective active substances can help. For example, an infrared protection complex made of knotgrass. Ageing processes that are induced by infrared light can thereby be effectively counteracted. Without protection, ROS (reactive oxygen species) would form through oxidative stress and strong heat exposure, which results in synthesis of the enzyme matrix metal proteinase-1 / collagenase-1 and with it the degradation of collagen. The special ingredients can effectively prevent the IR- and heat-induced formation of MMPS (matrix metal proteinase) and fiber degradation through their innovative mechanism. Vitamin E additionally offers antioxidative cell protection and regeneration. Hyaluronic acid can function as a moisturizer and moisture reserve. It reduces wrinkles caused by dryness, preserves the tension and the skin turns up fresh and firm through the high water-binding capacity. The effect of sunrays must be limited, even with suitable sun protection and supplementary care. The maximum protection time, which is defined by the sun protection factor (SPF), cannot be extended by repeated use of sunscreen products (“reapplication”). The self-protection time of the skin can be used just once in 24 hours. After that, the skin needs time to rest and regenerate. At this point professional treatments of beauticians and suitable home care products should be considered.
Recommend home care products for a soft cleansing routine. Moisturizing creams and serums play an important role for a “sun-spoilt” skin, which often tends to be dry. In very sunny months, moisture ampules and refreshing masks should be integrated in the daily care. Use eye care with high amounts of moisturizer and skin-identical lipids (ceramides). For intense cooling, store these in the fridge.
UV protection and vitamin D
Can the skin produce vitamin D even when using UV protection products? Moreover, how can skin cancer and vitamin D shortage be avoided?
In case of regular short stays in the sun, the positive effects prevails – however, only if a sunburn will be avoided.
For the production of vitamin D (rather a type of hormone than a vitamin) sunlight (UVB-radiation) is needed. With the help of UV-radiation, the provitamin D3 will be produced out of the substance 7-Dehydrocholesterol. It gets into the liver with the bloodstream where it is converted into vitamin D3. The absorption of calcium out of the food is needed which in turn is essential for the bone structure. Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, it can be stored in the fat tissue over the summer – for the long winter period. Vitamin D can only be produced with the influence of UV-radiation, so the question arises whether an intensive sunscreen impedes the vitamin D production. According to the Robert-Koch institute, sunscreen products with a SPF of e.g. 20 blocks around 95% of UV-radiation.
Light protection may prevent to some extent that vitamin D is produced. Whether a shortage of vitamin D indeed occurs is however doubtful. A shortage of vitamin D will only occur if less time is spent outdoors - due to illness or old age. The risk of getting cancer weighs even heavier than the risk of getting a shortage of vitamin D. As a precautionary measure, the vitamin D-level and possible shortages can be balanced through special preparations for daily intake. For advanced cancer, there are unfortunately only a few treatment options.
There is a rule of thumb: for a sufficient vitamin-d-synthesis in spring/ summer months, 20% of the body surface (e.g. face and arms or arms and lower legs) should be exposed to the sun about two to three times a week for approx. 10-20 minutes (depending on the skin type). However, always taking into account that no sunburn occurs. When this time will be reached, is different for everyone.
Conclusion: Spend a lot time outdoors, pay attention to the sun intensity and do not use no sunscreen for the wrong reasons.