June 09, 2023 5 min read
When you go on holiday, you take your skin issues with you – and some of them do not react well to hotter climes. But, by taking a few precautions and treating your skin right, you can have fun in the sun! Here is Elave Skincare’s guide on how to give your skin a proper break…
Some people find that a bit of sun helps with their eczema, but for others it can trigger a flare-up. On the one hand, sun exposure may benefit those with weeping or blistering patches of eczema by drying the skin. Studies also suggest that increased levels of vitamin D, which the body makes when exposed to UV, can improve symptoms. A nice sunny day also makes people relax more, and as there are strong links between eczema and stress, this can only be helpful.
Some types of eczema can worsen in the sun, however. In photosensitive dermatitis, the immune system reacts badly to UV, triggering flare-ups which can occur shortly after exposure – or even days later. Certain types of medication can also increase skin sensitivity in sunlight, so this is worth discussing with your healthcare professional. If so, avoid sitting out at the hottest part of the day and cover up with a hat and a loose t-shirt.
In either case, you need to use a high protection, broad spectrum sunscreen with both chemical and mineral properties, like Elave Sun SPF 30and SPF 50+. On a day to day basis, even when you are not on holiday, protect delicate facial skin with Elave Daily Skin Defence SPF45. All of these products are formulated using gentle ingredients which guarantee not to create irritant skin reactions like rashes, itching and blisters.
Emollients remain the surest way to treat eczema-prone skin and we recommend applying a hydrating formulation in the morning and several times throughout the day. Elave Intensive Cream is a rich formula which contains white soft paraffin and fractionated coconut oil to soothe, hydrate and calm the skin by repairing the skin’s protective barrier and retaining the skin’s moisture to relieve symptoms. As well as bigger size, it comes in a 50g tube which can be popped into your beach bag.
So how to apply emollient with sunscreen? Put your emollient on first, making sure not to miss areas like the tops of your ears, creases of the elbows, and backs of the knees, wait 30 minutes, then apply a sunscreen. This prevents the emollient from diluting the sunscreen. Do not rub in the sunscreen, as this can cause irritation, simply apply in downward strokes. Do not go out into the sun wearing just emollient as you might as well fry your skin. And, remember, apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside.
Besides using a sunscreen, staying in the shade, and covering up, there are other things you can do to avoid a dreaded flare-up while on holiday. Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water. After swimming in the sea or a chlorinated pool, shower off and apply more moisturiser and sunscreen. Sweating is a common trigger, so rinse frequently and wear loose clothing to avoid overheating.
Lying out in the sun does not help acne. That is a mistaken belief. The dehydrating effect of the sun may look like it is helping to clear up your skin, but ultimately it does more harm than good. This is because the sun dries and thickens the top layer of the skin and the body responds by producing even more oil in compensation, leading to more breakouts later on.
Although sunbathing may be distressing, and stress is a known factor in acne breakouts, there are other risks. Exposing acne to UV without protection leads to an increased risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation. So while a tan may offer a short term boost in appearance, the trade-off is an increased risk of marks and dark spots in the future, and potentially more serious conditions.
As with eczema, it is vital to wear a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Elave Sun sunscreens are noncomedogenic, which is a plus for those who don’t want their skin looking any shinier than it already does. Noncomedogenic means our sunscreen are oil-free and will not block your pores, which could make your acne worse.
Sunlight and rosacea are not a good mix. Even a few minutes of exposure can lead to redness and flushing across the nose, cheeks and face, so use a gentle, non-irritant sunscreen, a big sunhat to protect your face, and stay in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. If stress causes your rosacea to flare up, you may find it beneficial to relax in the sun, and that is fine, as long as you use sunscreen protection and keep cool.
Hot beverages can also irritate rosacea, so iced tea and coffee drinks on holiday are ideal. However, we also tend to drink more alcohol on holiday. Avoid red wine and add soda water or lemonade to other alcoholic beverages to lower the alcohol content. Try to limit yourself to a couple of drinks at a time, each followed by a big glass of cold water. Spicy foods are also the enemy of rosacea so, again, avoid or minimise. Swap hot salsas, curries and rubs with mild versions of the same dish, but it your rosacea still flares up, it might be best to avoid spicy dishes altogether.
If makeup triggers your rosacea, apply a mild fragrance-free emollient like Elave Intense Moisture Surge to your skin first, followed by rosacea-friendly makeup. Avoid heavy foundations, waterproof products or anything that requires makeup remover.
People who are sensitive to sunlight may develop a rash of tiny, inflamed bumps or slight raised patches of skin on the face, chest, neck and upper arms. This is most likely to appear in the spring or early summer, as exposure to the sun increases. You are most likely to first display this UV reaction in your teens or twenties, with it appearing every year thereafter. It usually goes away on its own within 10 days, but people with severe or persistent rashes may need medication.
Anyone can develop polymorphous light eruption, but several factors are associated with an increased risk of the condition. You are more likely to be a sufferer if you are female, have skin that sunburns easily, live in northern regions, or have a family history of the condition. People with sensitive Irish skin are more likely to experience heat rashes. To treat, apply a cold damp cloth or ice pack wrapped in a tea towel, pat (don’t scratch!) the skin, and avoid perfumed shower gels. Elave Body Wash and Elave Shower Gel are ideal.
Some 95% of skin ageing – that is, fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots and sagging skin – is caused by UV exposure. Using a high protection, broad spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from signs of ageing and other more serious conditions. Try the Elave Sunrange of gentle, non-oily formulas, along with Elave Lip Balm SPF20 to keep your lips smooth and hydrated.
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