What impact does the sun have on skin prone to redness?
Whether it is from temporary or lasting redness, rosacea or couperosis, some types of sensitive skin easily overreact in certain circumstances. Heat and UV radiation are two factors that promote vasodilation. When exposed to the sun, small blood vessels that cause redness dilate and become more visible, especially on people with fair, thin skin who are most prone to redness. People with these skin types need to protect themselves using creams designed specifically to prevent aggravating redness.
How does blemished skin react after sun exposure?
The sun can be the enemy of both teens and adults with acne-prone skin. At first, it seems to miraculously improve the skin by drying out pimples. But, tanning actually thickens the epidermis which progressively blocks pores. This makes it more difficult for sebum (which is thicker in acne-prone skin) to flow freely. You don’t notice anything until the tan fades. At that point, the pores produce pimples because they have been blocked for weeks and because the thicker sebum cannot flow freely. This is the classic post-sun blemish rebound effect. People with blemished skin should protect themselves from the sun with special oily skin creams that will make the sebum more fluid and smooth the skin’s texture to prevent this condition. They provide a non-greasy finish and sometimes come in tinted versions. They are formulated to mattify the complexion and help you avoid unpleasant surprises when you get back from your holiday.
What precautions should be taken for reactive, intolerant or allergy-prone skin?
By definition, sensitive, intolerant or allergic skin reacts excessively to its environment. So, sun exposure is highly discouraged. It is strongly recommended that people with these skin types apply a photoprotective product. However, it is important to differentiate among the issues to find the best solution.
. Photosensitive skin should not be exposed to the sun. This is caused by certain diseases present from birth or hypersensitivities acquired later in life. Certain medical treatments can also trigger temporary sun intolerance. High protection sun creams with an SPF 50+/UVA 50 index must be used to provide full protection against UVB and UVA rays and limit serious inflammatory reactions that solar radiation can trigger.
. Some people’s skin is allergic to traditional chemical filters used in sun cream formulas. In these rare cases, sun protection is provided by mineral formulas, which have been greatly improved so that they no longer make the skin white.
. Finally, we often see sun allergies during the first days of exposure. It is often benign summer light eruption, a condition mostly affecting young women (80% of cases*) that disappears on its own when skin starts to tan. As its name suggests, it is not a serious disease, but its symptoms can affect quality of life. Its symptoms are redness, pimples and strong itching sensations. The best strategy is to protect skin with a sun cream that contains broad-spectrum anti-UVB compounds to prevent sunburn and anti-UVA ingredients to block rays that cause allergic reactions. A 1:1 SPF/IP UVA ratio is important here. (This means there is equal protection against UVB and UVA rays to reduce inconveniences due to allergies).
*Ann Dermato Venereol, 2007
What are the risks for damaged skin or skin with spots?
If you have had a surgical or cosmetic procedure or an injury in an area that may be exposed to the sun, you have a higher risk of hyperpigmentation if the healing process has not been completed. This can take eight to 12 months or longer. If it is not fully healed, the mark can become brownish and may become permanent. This is a risk during the summer, as well as all throughout the year. UVA rays are everywhere, during all seasons; they travel through clouds and windows. So, people with damaged skin or spots need to choose a protective product to apply to any damaged skin exposed to light.
Sun and skin with spots
With age and cumulative sun exposure, spots tend to appear on skin, especially on exposed areas like the décolleté, back, hands and face. These spots are related to a dysfunction in melanin distribution. Any new sun exposure can accentuate the condition. People with spots on their skin can prevent hyperpigmentation by using a sun cream specially formulated to regulate melanin production.
Special case: lip infections
Nearly one in seven French people have cold sores*. Sun exposure is one of the factors that triggers them, along with stress and fatigue. There are sun sticks specially formulated to prevent summer lip sores while also protecting the sensitive skin on your lips from the effects of the sun.
*J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006
What are good sun care habits to follow with children?
First, keep kids in the shade and dress them in protective clothing! It’s best to keep kids out of the sun; in fact, children under three months should NEVER be exposed. Children’s skin is thin and fragile. It has fewer defences against UV rays; sunburn and heat stroke happen faster. Physicians regularly remind us that sunburns in childhood can have very serious consequences later in life. Responsible parents must follow a few simple, essential rules.
. Do not intentionally expose them to sun, especially between 11 am and 4 pm; Put protective clothing on children: a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeve t-shirt, preferably in a dark colour;
. Apply a high protection SPF 50+ sun cream or a product specially formulated for kids every two hours. Remember to re-apply it after each swim or after rubbing from things like playing in the sand or wiping off with a towel;
. You should also give them water to drink often throughout the day to rehydrate them.