Skin Care

True vs False: 10 scorching facts about the sun

We all know that the sun harms our skin. The problem is we're all guilty of ignoring the guidelines. So time to brush up on the facts and bust some myths!

The sun does not affect adults as much as it affects babies and kids

False: All unprotected skin will get damaged by the sun, regardless of age. Kids could avoid sunburn at all costs! Young adults need to keep within their phototype limits (AKA their solar capital), 40-somethings should beware of premature skin ageing and, once we're in our 60's, we should guard against age spots. And if one thing makes matters worse, it's the sun!

You should apply sunscreen even if you are not sunbathing

True: We don't feel UVA rays, but they penetrate clouds and windows to hammer us all day long. So as soon as spring is sprung, swap your usual day cream for a moisturiser that contains an SPF.

Autumn’s sun is not as harmful as the summer sun

True: Summer arrived and our acne magically disappeared. However, the return of cooler weather will bring back our blemishes, even if we're still sporting a sun-kissed glow. The only sure-fire solution? Protect your skin with a high factor SPF (30 or 50 is best).

You should use after-sun only if you have a sunburn

False: Alongside sunscreens, after-suns are a summer must. After-suns have a high water content that hydrates and repairs skin. Plus they're packed with soothing active ingredients that will calm both sun and wind burns. Take your pick from aloe vera, bisabolol, calendula and chamomile. For maximum hydration, go for active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, both of which prevent water loss.

UVA and UVB rays are pretty much the same

False: UVA rays are present all-year-round, even on cloudy days. They're painless, but can still reach the deeper layers of our skin, causing it to rapidly age. UVB's reach their peak around midday (think 'mad dogs and Englishmen'...), but they're blocked by cloud cover. They stimulate tan-producing melanin, but also cause sunburn and/or allergic reactions. So when choosing a sunscreen, go for one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

You should apply sunscreen even if you are going for a swim

True: The sun's rays can reach a depth of 50cm, so even if you're planning to wallow in water, remember to apply a sunscreen. Plus water reflects light, making sunburn even more likely!

You can use last year’s sunscreen

False: If you have an unopened sunscreen (within its sell-by date), then yes, you can use it. However, don't apply a sunscreen that you opened last summer: sand, sunshine and/or badly closed lids will have destroyed its formula.

You should reapply your sunscreen every two hours

True: Swimming, drying off, sweat, sand... Our sunscreen's repeatedly wiped off and needs re-applying every couple of hours (minimum) - don't forget your back, feet, and ears!

The texture of the sunscreen does not matter

True: It's the SPF that counts, not the texture you apply. An SPF 50 oil works the same as its lotion equivalent. So feel free to choose a texture or scent that you like! For example, you can try the UV Perfect Aqua Essence sunscreen by L’Oréal Paris that has a unique non-greasy gel formula that not only provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays but also protects your skin against pollution particles adhesion.