We usually think about applying sunblock during the summer months or on a vacation to protect us from sunburn. However, the UV rays emitted from the sun can be damaging to skin over time – even on overcast days. We explain the harmful impact the sun can have on your skin, and how to protect your skin from sun damage by using sunscreen every day as part of your skincare regimen.
How does the sun damage skin?
There are two types of UV rays emitted by the sun: UVA and UVB rays. The latter is what causes sunburn when we spend too much time basking by the pool. The former can speed up the development of signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, as UVA rays damage the skin’s elastic fibers and collagen – the protein that maintains firmness in the skin. UVA rays penetrate cloudy skies, so you could be damaging your skin without you even realizing it!
UV radiation causes the production of free radicals, which can also speed up signs of aging. Free radicals are molecules that exist in the air, from UV rays and pollution, that are missing an electron. These free radicals will then look to borrow electrons from somewhere else – such as your skin – and in doing so, will damage collagen and encourage hyperpigmentation. A lack of collagen slows down the rate of skin cell renewal, resulting in a build-up of dead skin cells that causes your complexion to look dull.
What is SPF?
The SPF number refers to the amount of time you would be able to spend in the sun without burning your skin, compared with when not using any sun protection. However, as UVA rays can harm the skin even on cloudy days, you should consider wearing products with sun protection daily.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you should reapply SPF products approximately every two hours to ensure you are protected.
How to protect your skin from sun damage
No7 has a range of skincare products offering sun protection that will shield your skin from potential damage.
No7’s Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream is formulated with our unique anti-wrinkle peptide technology, as well as SPF 30 to defend and protect against harmful UV rays and environmental stressors. Alternatively, try Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream with our ground-breaking anti-wrinkle technology and SPF 30. It also contains hyaluronic acid and hibiscus for visibly firmer looking skin. It also has vitamin C, an antioxidant.