With temperatures reaching 40 degrees for the first time on record in the UK this year, it’s predicted that we could be in for a record-breaking summer. But what does this mean for Brits’ skin and hair health?
Sunniest cities in the UK
We can reveal the top ten ‘sunniest cities in the UK and, therefore, most at risk from sun damage. To create our new ranking, we analysed cities across the UK and delved into factors such as average UV, average sunshine days per month, average sunshine hours per day, and the chance of rain in August¹. The locations most at risk from sun damage include:
A higher risk of sun damage means cities in the UK should take extra precautions to protect the hair and skin. The skin absorbs UV rays and visible light, which can cause pigmentation and accelerate ageing, and hair could become prone to thinning. Those living in the city of Brighton need to be extra careful these next few months when heading out in the sun, and we suggest using SPF 50 on the face and spraying hair with a protectant, even if you’re just popping out for an hour.
Our team of dermatology and hair restoration experts break down how else these top ten sunniest cities can protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays:
Protecting skin from sun damage
Sun damage can result in skin conditions like actinic keratosis and more serious problems such as skin cancers. Therefore, we must have a good understanding of how we can protect ourselves.
In terms of ingredients to avoid when out in the sun, people should stay away from retinol, as this will give the skin time to repair and build its natural defence. If skin conditions have already become prominent, treatments including medical skin peels and PRP skin rejuvenation could reduce issues like skin pigmentation and discolouration disorders.
To promote healthy skin in the summer months, increasing vitamin C usage would be a good idea. Moisturisers with this ingredient are a good place to start as it helps hydrate the skin, alleviate hypersensitivity and photosensitivity, and encourage glowing skin.
Other active ingredients to avoid prior to sun exposure or in direct sunlight include hydroquinones and exfoliating acids like BHAs, AHAs, salicylic acid and lactic acid.
Protecting hair from sun damage
If the hair is exposed to the sun for a prolonged period, it can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, frizzy, and thin.
A small but effective way to protect the hair is by applying a thin layer of SPF to your hairline to avoid root damage. If the hair’s root is protected, it will prevent skin cell loss, ensuring the hair remains strong.
If you’re popping out of the house quickly, a loose-fitting hat will help protect the hair. Not only would this provide complete coverage from the sun, but a loose hat will ensure no strain is applied to the hair, which could ultimately lead to breakage.
Lastly, we’d suggest nourishing the hair with conditioning masks and running cold water over it after it’s been washed. Doing this will give the hair an extra layer of protection for when you step outside into the summer heat.
Prolonging makeup in the sun
Not only are the summer months harsh on the skin, but they can also cause problems with makeup sliding off the skin due to increased perspiration. With this in mind, we recommend changing your skincare regime throughout the summer months, especially in extreme heat.
Opting for skincare ingredients that reduce the chances of sebum creation would be a good idea. For example, niacinamide solution once a day can help regulate sebum and aid with oily skin, and using mineral SPF will appear less cakey on the skin. This can be a great medium to help prep the skin before using a foundation.
A primer can also help keep the foundation in place for longer. Trying a salicylic acid or tea tree-based primer can reduce oiliness and make it less likely to settle fine lines. This can have a prophylactic effect to help prevent further breakouts in acne-prone skin.
Once you’ve prepped your skin for the day, it’s time to consider what type of makeup you use. Sweat-proof makeup can contain harsh chemicals like wax, talc, and silicones, so we recommend using talc-free mineral makeup in the summer. This can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
If you think you’ve suffered from sun damage and premature ageing and would like to explore treatment options, book a consultation with us at our Hertfordshire clinic so we can determine the best route forward. Please visit: https://aventusclinic.com/contact/
Our study used third-party data from Weather Atlas to gather the average climate figures for 28 UK cities in the month of August. To calculate the ranking, Aventus Clinic used figures based on average UV rays, average sunshine days, average sunshine hours per day, and the percentage chance of rain. The study was conducted in July 2022.