Essential Summer Skincare: Protecting Skin from Sun Damage

Sunburn can often be prevented by applying a high SPF sun cream and practicing caution while in the sun. However, if sunburn does occur, prompt treatment to alleviate the effects of sun damage is crucial:

  • Seek Shade: Immediately get out of the sun to prevent further damage.
  • Cool Down: In mild cases, cool down by using a damp cloth or taking a cool bath or shower.
  • Stay Hydrated: Sunburn can draw fluid to the skin’s surface, so drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Use Soothing Lotions: Apply soothing lotions to calm the skin after showering or bathing. Gently pat yourself dry and leave some water on your skin before applying moisturizer to trap moisture.
  • Medical Attention: If you experience dizziness, fever, chills, or blistering, seek medical attention.
  • Avoid Sun Exposure: While your skin heals, stay out of the sun and cover the sunburn when going outdoors.

Sun Damage

Is Sun Damage Reversible?

Unfortunately, there is no proven method to reverse sun damage to the skin. Prevention is the best approach as sun damage can alter DNA, increase cancer risk, and cause premature aging. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, leading to wrinkles, reduced elasticity, dryness, and uneven pigmentation.

Can Tanning Be Safe?

Dermatologists discourage tanning because it’s the skin’s defense against harmful UV rays. Skin types vary, and those with fair skin can’t tan extensively, no matter how long they sunbathe. Darker skin naturally produces more melanin and can tan more easily.

If you choose to tan, use high SPF sun cream regularly for protection. However, remember that your skin has a limit to melanin production, and excessive sun exposure can harm your skin.

How To Prevent Skin Cancer and Maintain Skin Safety?

Protecting your skin from UV damage is crucial. Here are some tips:
  • Daily SPF: Apply sunscreen with high UVA and UVB protection from March to September, especially on exposed areas.
  • Proper Application: Apply sunscreen as the final step before makeup. Use enough to cover your face, neck, ears, arms, back, chest, and legs.
  • Mineral Sunscreens: People with sensitive skin may benefit from mineral sunscreens containing titanium and zinc.
  • Reapplication: Reapply sunscreen every two hours, after swimming, sweating, towel drying, or any vigorous activity.
  • Beware of Reflections: Sunlight can be amplified when reflected off surfaces like snow, sand, or water.
  • Avoid Peak Sun: Stay out of direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm, and wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Skin Checks: Regularly inspect your skin and moles for changes, and consult a doctor or dermatologist if concerned.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists in London, please contact us via email:, call 020 7112 4924, or use our website’s enquiry form, and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.




Can I use expired sunscreen if that’s all I have?

It’s best to avoid using expired sunscreen. Expired products may not provide adequate protection, so invest in a fresh bottle.

Is it necessary to wear sunscreen on cloudy days?

Yes, UV rays penetrate clouds. Protect your skin even on cloudy days to prevent UV damage and premature aging.

What should I do if I get sunburned despite precautions?

If sunburn occurs, follow the tips in the article. Additionally, consider over-the-counter remedies like aloe vera gel for relief.

Can I wear makeup over sunscreen, and if so, how?

Yes, you can apply makeup over sunscreen. Wait a few minutes after applying sunscreen to let it absorb, then apply your makeup as usual.

Are natural sunscreens as effective as chemical ones?

Natural sunscreens can be effective, but they may need more frequent reapplication. Ensure they offer broad-spectrum protection.

Can I skip sunscreen if my skin has a naturally dark tone?

No, all skin tones need protection. While darker skin has more melanin, it can still get damaged and develop issues like hyperpigmentation.

How often should I check my moles for changes?

Regularly examine your moles for changes in size, shape, color, or texture. If you notice any changes, consult a dermatologist promptly.

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB protection in sunscreen?

UVA rays cause skin aging, while UVB rays cause sunburn. Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection to guard against both types of UV rays.