Summer is just around the corner and whether it’s on your mind or not, sun care should be a top priority. There are a plethora of products on the market to suit everyone’s needs when it comes to sun care and sun protection. However it can be confusing to choose a product that’s is right for you.
First let’s start with the facts. Along with causing premature ageing of the skin, excess sun exposure and sunburn can greatly increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer affecting New Zealanders. Along with Australia, New Zealand has some of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. Melanoma affects people of all ages and genders.
Melanoma is thought to be caused by brief periods of intense sun exposure causing DNA damage, rather than years of tanning. “One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. A person’s risk for melanoma also doubles if he/she has had 5 or more sunburns at any age.” (skincancer.org)
Your best defence against skin cancer and sunburn is keeping covered up and using a broad spectrum sunscreen. “Research has shown that the best protection is achieved by applying sunscreen 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and the again 15-30 minutes after exposure. Further application is only necessary after activities such as swimming, sweating or rubbing.” (Wikipedia)
If you do plan on having an active day outside, a good broad spectrum sunscreen will block UVA and UVB rays and typically will last for up to 80 minutes after application during activity. The back of the legs, top of the ears and soles of the feet are spots that are often over looked. So be sure to remember to apply to all exposed areas of the skin
If you do manage to get a sunburn a high quality aloe vera gel is the most trusted and gentle way to help soothe sunburn. There are many wives tales recommending various ways to treat a sunburn. But keep in mind that the skin is burned and needs to breathe and vent the heat. Any product that contains petroleum jelly or that will coat the skin and clog the pores, will only exacerbate the burn. Aloe vera gel has been used for centuries, because it is a light gel that allows the skin to breath, cools the burn, and promotes healing of the skin all at the same time.
Another not often thought about way to help boost skin defence from the sun is to use supplements! Antioxidants such as vitamin E and C are excellent if taken daily together, to help boosts the skins natural ability to resist DNA mutation from the sun. Hair, Skin and Nail formula’s such as KNH Hair Skin Nails, combine antioxidants such as vitamins E, C, beta-carotene as well as marine collagen, flax and fish oils to help nourish the skin and immune system as well as fight free radical damage caused by UV exposure.
It’s a great idea either before or after you’ve spent a day in the sun to dose up on some antioxidants in order to help your body combat all the free radical formation created by the UV exposure. Free radicals are formed in the body every day after exposure to pollutants, bad diets, and UV rays.
Free radicals are helpful in small quantities and actually perform a vital function in the body, but in large quantities they can actually lead to DNA damage in the cells of the body. Taking antioxidants helps neutralise the harmful effects of the excess free radicals produced from over exposure to environmental pollutants and sun exposure. Antioxidants come in many forms so there are loads of options to suite your personal needs.
At New Zealand Health food Co. we offer a wide range of sun care products including: Seba Med natural sunscreen SPF 30 and 50, Sukin pure aloe vera gel and body lotions for post sun care, facial moisturizers with SPF 15, as well as a wide range antioxidants to protect the skin from the inside out such as vitamin E and C, acai, chlorella, resveratrol complex and many others.
We have different product specials every month too! If you need help picking the right product for you, or you are seeking more personalised advice, we invite you to stop into our retail shop at 215 Wooldridge Road, Christchurch. Or if you live out of the area and need some help we have a live chat resource on our website. It’s a quick and easy way to get recommendations or questions answered before you make your online purchase.