As we experience the longest days of the British summer, a report by RAFT’s Dr Rachel Haywood* into the application of sunscreens was picked up by BBC News earlier this month.

The report addresses the fact that people do not apply enough sunscreen to achieve adequate protection from UV damage which can lead to melanoma and other skin cancers. Because people often don’t apply enough sunscreen to give sufficient protection it is recommended that SPF 30 is used. Other measures include seeking shade during peak sunlight hours and covering-up.

 

For people who use camouflage, sun protection can be tricky because once camouflage is in place applying sunscreen on top will probably move it. Yet it is often even more important to have sufficient sun protection for people with conditions such a vitiligo or significant scarring where the skin’s own defense is lacking as a result of a reduction in melanocytes in the epidermis. Sun exposure is also a known trigger of rosacea flare-ups.

 

All the camouflage creams that are currently on NHS prescription contain sun protection to some degree, for example Covermark contains SPF 30 whereas Dermacolor SPF 15 and Keromask SPF 8. None can be considered as sufficient for a whole day’s protection and so the best plan is to apply a very high protection sunscreen (i.e. SPF 50) before camouflage application and then take additional precautions such as keeping out of the sun when it is at its most intense between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.

 

If you are concerned about how best to combine your skin camouflage and sun protection routines please get in touch with us at SCA.

 

Here are some useful links about skin health and sun protection:

www.sunsmart.org.uk

 

www.bad.org.uk/sunawareness

 

www.skcin.org

 

www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk

 

www.sunsibility.co.uk

 

*Haywood,R. Relevance of Sunscreen Application Methods, Visible Light and Sunlight Intensity to Free-Radical Protection Afforded by Sunscreens (Photochemistry and Photobiology 2006, 82:1123-1131). www.raft.ac.uk