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The sun: one of your worst enemies?

The sun should be one of the best parts of summer, not something that brings you down. Protect and moisturize so you’re ready to show off your new sunny glow.

There’s no denying the fact that we all find ourselves more attractive in summer. But as pharmacy technician Loubna Id Said explains, the sun can be an enemy in disguise for our skin. Here are three reasons why.

The sun only temporarily conceals imperfections

Tanned skin doesn’t make your sallow complexion go away – it merely hides it under a radiant glow. What makes for dull skin? One cause is an inappropriate skincare routine that doesn’t adequately moisturize. But long UVA rays can also contribute to that sallow look. For Loubna Id Said, there is “only one solution: use a moisturizing day cream under sunscreen, with a high UV protection factor (SPF 50+ for pale or sensitive skin).”

Thicker skin and blemishes – is the sun to blame?

To protect itself from harmful UV rays, the skin produces melanin (which causes it to tan) and becomes thicker. When you come back from vacation, you often get a build-up of blemishes known as the “rebound effect.” So what’s the best way to limit the damage? It’s vital to protect your skin with a high-SPF sunscreen. “UV rays might dry out troublesome areas but they also thicken the skin, block pores and cause a build-up of sebum,” says Loubna Id Said. “Exfoliate your face no more than once a week when you’re on vacation. If you have blemish-prone skin, also use a salicylic acid cream.”

Don’t count on the sun for an even tan

Waiting for the sun to give you the perfect tan? You might be waiting awhile. There are two reasons for this: “Facial skin varies in thickness,” according to Loubna Id Said. “The sun is more aggressive on the areas of the face where the skin is thinnest, causing dark spots to form more quickly. It is vital to protect your face and neckline with an effective sunscreen and to reapply it regularly on more fragile areas.” Then, some areas of your body – such as your legs – receive less sun exposure. Top up your tan with a self-tanner for an even look across the whole body.

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