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Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Many of us enjoy the benefits of the sun, from the sun-kissed glow to sometimes even feeling a little happier and a little more positive. No wonder so many of us head off each year in search of a warmer climate!  Unfortunately the harsh reality is that ultraviolet rays from the sun can be incredibly damaging to our delicate skin and can speed up the process of premature ageing and increase our chances of skin cancer. To best protect and preserve your skin, look for an SPF with a broad spectrum that has both UVA and UVB filters.

Damage from UVA rays

UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin and can accelerate skin ageing and hyper pigmentation. UVA rays represent 75% of all UV rays and are present all year round, even in our dull Irish weather.

Damage from UVB rays

UVB rays are what stimulate our skins’ tanning abilities but sadly are also responsible for irreversible damage to the skin.

Sunscreen labelling can be confusing

Last week, pharmacists in the UK warned that just because a sunscreen has an SPF factor does not mean it protects against both harmful UVA and UVB. Many sunscreens do not offer protection against harmful UVA rays. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s chief scientist, Prof Jayne Lawrence, said: “a recent survey indicates a huge amount of confusion around sunscreen labelling that is a barrier to effective sun protection. Clearly many consumers do not realise the SPF rating applies only to the amount of protection offered against UVB rays, not UVA rays – both of which can damage the skin and cause skin cancer.”

What I recommend?

Because a sunscreen won't block 100% of all UV rays, it is recommended that we should use at least SPF 30 on our bodies and a separate SPF 50 on our faces. Apply your sunscreen liberally and regularly (every two hours is recommended), and keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water. So to keep your skin healthy and to prevent premature ageing, not only should you use an appropriate sunscreen, be aware of the dangers of over exposure to the sun.

You will love!

I recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios Unifying Blur Cream because it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. What I love is that Anthelios Unifying Blur is La Roche-Posay's first high sun protection that blurs skin defects, smoothes and unifies. It has more than twice the European standard of UVA protection. It contains no parabens and no perfume. It is perfect to use as make-up or as a make-up base. It glides onto the skin as a primer. Ask in Whelehans for more details.

Written by Trish Wallace, Beauty Consultant at Whelehans Pharmacy Mullingar. For skincare and makeup tips and advice including free consultations, call in to Whelehans or call us at 04493 34591 or check

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