With the onset of warmer weather and lighter summer clothing, it is more important than ever to take care of one’s skin at this time of year. Sun exposure is good for the body, being a major source of vital Vitamin D, but can also lead to unattractive premature aging and more serious complications like cancer.

Taking a few steps to minimise the risks can make a significant difference. First and foremost, choosing the right sunscreen and applying it regularly is essential. The sun’s rays are comprised of two elements, UV-A and UV-B. Some sunscreens are only effective against one of these types, making it ineffective as an overall protective layer. Look for products which mention both kinds of UV, with a high SPF number too. Sunscreen needs to be applied at least fifteen minutes before going out into the sun and reapplied every few hours. In addition, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the hands as well as the more usual areas like face and chest. Two thirds of sun damage is caused incidentally, such as whilst driving – and with hands being one of the biggest giveaways to a person’s true age, their protection should be taken seriously. Many moisturisers and hand creams are available which contain SPF, making it easy to stay as protected as possible. Likewise, the delicate skin of the feet is often exposed for the first time in summer sandals, so also needs considering when applying sunscreens to the body.

If affected by sunburn, the most important thing to do is to stay hydrated. Maintaining the body’s fluid levels in the heat will help support recovery, as well as restoring water lost through the skin. A richly moisturising after-sun lotion will help to soothe the burn and ease the sensation of tightness, particularly those which contain aloe vera. Normal paracetamol use can also help if there is significant discomfort, but stay out of the sun whilst the burn heals.

Many people find their bronzed holiday skin very attractive, but there are safer ways to achieve this look than spending time in the sun damaging the body. Rather than using sunbeds or tanning technologies this summer, think about protecting this organ and using tinted moisturisers to build colour. For those already experiencing sun damage, from dark spots to damaged blood vessels, loss of tone or wrinkles, sun damage rejuvenation treatments can help to undo some of this harm and to create a good foundation for moving forwards more healthily.

The summer heat tends to make people’s make-up choices lighter, so a tinted base moisturiser containing a high level of SPF protection is ideal. As part of the normal routine, it is also very important to keep up with exfoliation and moisturising regimes. This in itself will help to remove layers of sun-damaged cells, creating a brighter and healthier skin, whilst moisturisation will support the skin’s elasticity.