We asked Barbara Baars, beautician and skin expert with over 25 years of experience, what her sun skin secrets are.
What are the effects the sun can have on my skin?
The sun has different effects on your skin and overall health : when the sun touches your skin, a synthesis of sorts happens, transforming the sun radiation into vitamin D. This vitamin (like all others) is indispensable to your health. Moreover, the sun strengthens your veins, your bones and boosts your immune system. This means that your skin is better equipped to fight viruses, bacteria and free radicals (the number one cause of aging!).
Of course, the sun can also damage your skin. Too much exposure to ultraviolet (or UV) rays can cause sunburn. UV rays penetrate the outer skin layers and pass into the deeper layers, where they can damage skin cells. So it is a little bit complicated; the sun strengthens your skin so it can fight the damage that is caused by that same sun...
What is your secret go-to sun product?
Abloom Hydrating Toner put in a vaporiser! It hydrates and is packed with antioxidants like Marshmallow Root, Elderberries, Fennel Seed and Camu Camu. On a very hot day, I cool the toner in the fridge and then spray it on. So refreshing!
I also use mineral bronzing powder in the sun; not to be confused with mineral oil, mineral powders contain natural sun filters. Iron oxide, zinc oxide and titanium oxide, to name a few. That is a win-win: the powder mattifies your skin (even with sweat), while also providing sun protection. Be careful, do not replace a sun protection cream by a mineral powder, it does not protect the skin as well as an SPF 30 or 50.
Don’t be scared of “layering”; if you use organic products, you can put everything on top of each other, it won’t “build up”, like when using mineral oil and chemicals. The products retain their light feel on your face while continuing to nourish your skin.
What products should be avoided in the sun?
You should absolutely avoid synthetic perfumes and chemical sun shields because they can provoke dark spots that stay for a long time. You can see this on some men's neck area that use after shave with synthetic perfume: it leaves dark stains, not to be confused with pigmentation spots.
Moreover, when using SPF creams, we tend to stay in the sun longer than necessary. Of course, it is delicious to feel the warmth and energy the sun gives, and a little tan is also nice! However, it is important to remember that those products do not make us invincible; re-apply when necessary, and let your skin take a break from the sun.
Last but not least, it’s better to leave that precious Vitamin C serum for when you are not stepping out in the sun. Vitamin C is best applied after exposure to UV light and not prior. Always use SPF with vitamin C because this vitamin may increase sun sensitivity.
What is the best way to take care of my skin after I have spent a day in the sun?
A lot of TLC! Most of us stay in the sun for too long during the summer or holidays. It feels amazing, and because we look nice and tanned! You only need 10 to 15 minutes to assure your vitamin D production, for the rest of the day the sun is just for fun and well-being (also important obviously).
Once at home, again: give the skin “food” to recover and restore. I would drink a glass of healthy fruit juice, like Pomegranate! This wonderful fruit is known for its restorative and regenerating properties. I would use Abloom toner again and finish it off with my Abloom night cream. The echinacea in this cream is highly regenerating, it will help repair the damage from the sun.
I also exfoliate regularly. Especially in the summer the skin tends to renew itself a little more quickly than in wintertime. The dead skin cells don’t always “fly out” by themselves, they need a little help! Dead skin cells block deeper and better tanning. Your skin will tan more beautifully and evenly, and last longer, if you exfoliate. I use Abloom’s Organic Enzyme Peeling. The enzymes derived from Papaya and Pineapple remove the excess build-up and will make your skin look radiant again.
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