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your skin and the summer sun

With the warmer weather well and truly here in the UK (finally!), we’re all tempted to spend lots of time outside in the sun. Whilst it’s true that sunshine is good for mental health and many other things, it can be potentially damaging and dangerous for the skin. It’s therefore vital that you know how to prepare your skin for the sun, and which precautions to take to tan safely.


It would first be good to understand what is actually happening when you tan. Tanning is actually a defensive reaction of the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. To prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating our skin, it produces melanin, a pigment whose function is to absorb the sun’s UV rays. It’s this melanin that makes our skin tan. Some skin tones naturally produce more melanin than others, but, no matter your skin colour, everyone must wear a good quality SPF to help protect against other dangers the sun poses; skin cancers, sunburns and premature skin ageing are but a few.


Following the steps below will help prepare and look after your skin during sun exposure:


  • Exfoliate. As your skin regenerates itself every few weeks, exfoliating is important to get rid of dead skin and aids blood circulation at the same time. Tanning on healthy skin allows the tan to stay longer and fade less quickly, and also remain even across the body. However, you should avoid exfoliating more than twice a week, as it can make the skin more sensitive to the sun. We recommend our Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish complete with Shea Butter, Cranberry Oil and Vitamin E.
  • Moisturise. It’s essential to moisturise your skin as often as possible, as the sun dries out the skin and makes it more susceptible to its UV rays. Moisturising will also help rebuild the skin’s protective layer. We recommend our Klairs Supple Preparation All Over Lotion; super lightweight and hydrating.
  • Wear SPF. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the number associated with it (e.g. SPF20) is an indicator of the level of protection you get from that product. SPF products usually range from 6 to 50+; the higher the number, the more protection it offers from UV rays, sunburn and skin ageing. Here at Buttermilk, we recommend using sunscreen (or products containing SPF) on your face and body every single day* - preferably SPF20 or higher. Apply the SPF 20 minutes before going out in the sun, and reapply every 2 hours if you are exposed constantly to the sun. We recommend our Missha All Around Safe Block Mild Sun SPF30 PA++ which naturally corrects to the skin without leaving white residue.


And there we have it! Some sure-fire ways to enjoy the sun whilst looking after and protecting your skin. Enjoy!


*even on cloudy days, your skin is exposed to the UV rays emitted by the sun and could still be damaged

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