How to Cope and Protect your Skin Depending on the UV index Level!

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UV Index : 0-2 ⛅️ 

This Index level means minimal danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person. Most people can stay in the sun for up to 1 hour during peak sun (10am to 4pm) without burning 🔥 . However, people with very sensitive skin, and infants should always be protected from prolonged sun exposure. At this level it is suggested to wear sunglasses 🕶 , use broad spectrum sunscreen ☀️ and watch out for bright surfaces like sand, water 💦 , and snow which reflect UV rays....increasing your exposure 🔍.

With UV Index Level 0-2, a moisturiser that contains sunscreen is sufficient to protect your skin (but an extra step is always encouraged) Depending on your skin type, will depend on whether you should look for a light or rich moisturiser🤓. Our favourites are the Avène Hydrance SPF 20 that exist in both a light and rich formulation🕵🏻‍♀️. However, if you know that you will be spending more than an hour in the sun during peak times, it is advisable to keep a SPF mist with you and spray it on your face to top up your morning protection in order to make sure that your skin is fully protected at all times✨.

PS: To check out your accurate UV index in your location, we recommend downloading the UVIMate app🙌🏼! You can log in your skin type and select the type of location where you will be (city, beach etc.), it will then calculate your time to burn and even set reminders to apply sunscreen depending on the data you input👏🏻! If you aren't sure how strong the sun’s rays are, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it’s important to protect yourself🤷🏼‍♀️.

UV Index : 3-5 ☀️ 

Level three is where UV radiation can start to cause skin damage. That’s when we advise people to take more sun protection measures 🛡 . The time for a burn to arise varies by skin type, but at a moderate UV level it is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Those with fair skin, may burn in less than 20 minutes 🤦🏼‍♀️. At this UV level it is suggested to seek shade between 10AM and 4PM when the sun’s rays are at their strongest 💪🏼 . 

A great way to limit exposure is to wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses, which will protect your eyes and wear long-sleeved shirts when outdoors. Don’t forget to always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 👏🏻.

A UV Index of 3-5 is the most common index in London during summertime. Don’t forget that even on cloudy days, up to 80% of solar UV rays penetrate through the clouds😒. Therefore, it is essential to protect your skin every single day. We recommend you take a look at the SPFs from Paula’s Choice. They are super light and provide excellent skin protection🙌🏼. Plus, they have an option for every skin type! Also, don’t forget to apply that antioxidant before your SPF - these take the protection from 55% to 97%💕!

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UV index : 6-7 ☀️🔥

This means moderate risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. The time to burn can vary by skin type, but at a high UV level it is approximately 15 to 25 minutes ⏰ . Wearing a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses will protect your eyes . Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and wear long-sleeved shirts when outdoors 🙌🏼. Remember to protect sensitive areas like the nose and the rims of the ears 👂 . Sunscreen prevents sunburn and some of the sun’s damaging effects on the immune system 🛡 . Use a lip balm or lip cream containing a sunscreen 💄 . Lip balms can help protect some people from getting cold sores.

In fact, we tend to forget than the sun not only impacts our skin, but our entire immune system. Sun exposure suppresses the immune system and may make the body more vulnerable to infections and cancer . It can also impact one of our most delicate organs, the 👀 . “Excess exposure to UV radiation can cause a painful burn of the cornea. Chronic eye exposure to UV radiation may also increase the incidence of cataracts, which is a clouding of the eye, in which a flesh membrane covers the eye; and possibly macular degeneration , or the development of spots that could result in blindness.” EPA.  You know that that means ? SPF + Hat + Sunglasses + Long sleeves💪🏼✨!

SPF 50 you must know by now is an essential, but other interesting products to look at are clothes and hats that offers sun protection. Look at brands such as Coolibar for a nice fortress and lightweight clothes, Wallaroo for hats that offers UPF (sunscreen index but for clothes) & polarised sunglasses from Ray- Ban for example 🕶👏🏻.

UV Index 8-10 🔥💦

Take extra precautions for both your skin and eyes because damage occurs quickly, typically within 15 minutes ⏰ . Minimize sun exposure during midday hours of 10am to 4pm, but if  that isn’t possible then diligently apply and re-apply sunscreen and SPF lip balm. Protect yourself by liberally applying a sunscreen of at least 30. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses to protect the eyes👀. When outside, seek shade. Don’t forget that water, sand, pavement and glass reflect UV rays even under a tree 🌲 , near a building or beneath a shady umbrella. Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers made from tightly-woven fabrics. UV rays can pass through the holes and spaces of loosely knit fabrics 🐍 .

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One of the biggest misconceptions regarding sunscreen is to think that it protects us in order for us to sunbathe much longer 🙅🏼‍♀️. Sunscreen should be used during unavoidable exposure! Meaning that the rest of the time, you should stay in the shade☝🏼! Don’t forget that tanning is simply a defence mechanism of the body. In fact, skin gets darker to protect itself from further damage from UV radiation! Therefore tanning, is not good for our health🕵🏻‍♀️.

It is essential with this UV Index to avoid the sun as much as possible. A suncare product that just prevents sunburn is not enough to ensure the skin will be cared for and premature ageing prevented🤭. In fact, it is important to find a sunscreen product that will not only protect against erythema, but that also includes antioxidants, cell repair & protection, hydration & lipid support, and DNA repair agents to reduce cell damage 🙌🏼.

Remember to be in shade as much as possible, and if not possible create it by wearing a hat, lose dark clothes or use an umbrella when at the beach or outdoors! The Sport-Brella Umbrella ☂️ is amazing for the beach as it also create a mini-cabana. For something more unique the Neso Beach tent is also amazing✨!

UV Index of 11+ 🔥🔥🔥

Means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Those with lighter skin tone, may burn in less than 5 minutes⏰. Outdoor workers and vacationers who can be subject to very intense sun exposure are especially at risk. At this level it is best to avoid all sun exposure between 10AM and 4PM. Apply SPF 30+ sunscreen every 2 hours ☝🏼. Avoid being in the sun as much as possible and wear sunglasses that block out 99-100% of all UV rays (UVA and UVB). Wear a cap or a hat with a wide brim which will block roughly 50% of UV radiation from reaching the eyes 👀 .

At this point, it is essential to avoid the sun as much as possible. However, sometimes sun exposure in inevitable which means you need to protect your skin with the highest protection possible👏🏻. Therefore, we highly recommend you to get a mineral sunscreen as physical block, out of all the currently used sun protections available, has the ability to offer complete broad-spectrum protection 🙌🏼! Our favourite ingredient is Zinc Oxide. This ingredient protects the skin against UVB and UVA rays but has also more capacity to stay waterproof 💦 ! 

Don’t forget that physical sunscreen need to be applied on top of the moisturiser while chemical sunscreen is better applied underneath or mixed on skin with he moisturiser .

Our advice 🕵🏻‍♀️: Cool down, drink some water, eat some ice cream but don’t go in the sun between 10 am and 4pm as even with a 50 SPF are damaging your skin! Who said watching a movie was only reserved for bad weather 🤷🏼‍♀️!?

UV Index 0 🌑 

Now that you know how to protect your skin according to the UV Index level, we can talk about how to hit the reset button and cool off after a day in the sun. Here are the different steps you need to include to make sure that your skin is functioning and recovering at its highest potential after getting those rays🕵🏻‍♀️…

1 - Remove the SPF🙅🏼‍♀️:  You need to remove that protective SPF shield that you created during the day. In fact, washing off sunscreen is almost as important as putting it on! Sunscreen plays a major role in the prevention of cancer, however it does block the skin from having the chance to ‘breathe’ and if not removed effectively can lead to congestion on the skin. It can also contain carcinogenic ingredients and other harmful toxins that you don’t want to sleep in! Therefore, simply using water-based cleanser or water is not enough; it is better to use an oil-based or creamy cleanser to help to dissolve the layer of sunscreen present on the skin. A study showed that sunscreen with a protection factor of over 15 is actually not completely removed by water-based cleansers!

2- Cool it Down❄️: At night, it is essential to properly cool down your skin to help to boost the regeneration of the damaged cells. In fact, one of the main roles of the skin during the day is to defend itself from free-radicals. The attack doesn’t stop when you get out of the sun, but continues to impact your skin even after sun exposure. When you have a sunburn (even a small one), the damage of the sun continues until the burn has stopped! So if you get a sunburn and still have it after 2 or 3 days, oxidative stress will continue for the same time period. This is why it is important to properly hydrate and provide oxygen to the skin in order to help support its defence system ALSO at night. Therefore, take a cool bath or shower and use an oil-based cleanser like sweet almond or jojoba oil for example, as they contain healing and hydrating properties. Stay away from essential oils, as your barrier may be more susceptible during this time.

3- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate💦: Hydrate your skin with a water-based moisturiser or a gel containing aloe-vera; it will help to calm down the skin. There is a big debate on using after-sun products, as they seem to be more of a marketing campaign to push product, rather than responding to a real skin need. We like to use after-sun products, as they are formulated to penetrate the skin immediately without leaving an occlusive barrier on the skin. In fact, contrary to what you may think, heavy creams containing oils will NOT help to soothe your skin as they will simply create a barrier over the skin instead of working within the skin! If you feel that your skin is more sensitive, avoid to use any type of chemical exfoliants, retinol and other abrasive products for a couple of days to give time to the skin to properly heal.

4- Protect through the night🌓: Studies have shown that vitamin C levels on the skin are severely depleted after UV exposure. We know that vitamin C helps to improve and normalise the changes caused by photo damage. Sun exposure oxidises Vitamin C, and causes the release of large numbers of free radicals. This means that the fibroblast is without one of the most important ingredients it needs for collagen synthesis. Using an antioxidant is key! Morning and/or evening, depending on your skin needs and preferences. This ingredient is essential to further protect the skin from UV damage. Don’t forget that once the skin affected by the sun, the DNA damage can’t be reversed or totally repaired. Therefore, protecting your skin and avoiding the sun as much as possible is key.