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Sensitive skin and UV: the dangers of daily sun exposure

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For most people, the sun is a universal symbol of positivity, the most natural of mood-boosters. And yet, 365 days a year, in summer and winter alike, sun exposure is sensitive skin’s enemy.

On your morning commute or during a quick lunch-break - even through cloud cover - UV rays will reach your skin. This triggers a series of events:

  • Instantly, the sun’s rays heat the skin, which can trigger irritation, redness and discomfort.
  • UVA and UVB rays then set off oxidative stress, leading to micro-inflammation. This can cause blood vessels to dilate and nerve endings to fire off pain signals.
  • The sun dries out your skin’s superficial layers, damaging its protective film and leaving it exposed to external aggressors.
  • UV also act as a pro-oxidant tag team with pollution particles, further worsening the oxidative stress and irritation within your skin.
  • Long term, long-UVA, which are particularly present whatever the weather, exacerbate skin’s sensitivity as well as promoting complexion graying.

The bottom line? Sun protection is not just for the beach.

Daily exposure is sensitive skin’s top stressor and will detract from your complexion’s comfort, as well as its uniformity

Picking your filter: what are the best sun creams for sensitive skin?

First of all, ensure your sunscreen comes in a light, spreadable texture to avoid excessive rubbing. Next, check it contains a high protection, broad spectrum UVA-UVB filter with SPF 30-50 plus long-UVA protection. Many sunscreen ingredients are known irritants, such as PABA and oxybenzone, so make sure your product has been tested on sensitive and sun-allergic skin. The most innovative formulas on the market also integrate anti-oxidants such as baicalin and pollution-proof textures.

Don’t feel like using sunscreen every day? Foundations designed for sensitive skin also offer a great alternative. Many integrate a respectable SPF and their pigments form a natural protective veil against the sun.

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Living with sensitive skin: The true impact on quality of life

From the moment you are born, every second of every day, your skin surrounds you with a protective barrier. It shields you against the elements, knocks, bumps and countless harmful substances in our environment. Yet we tend to take the immense role skin plays in our lives for granted.

For increasing numbers of people, however, skin has become an issue. Their skin has become sensitive and is no longer silently tolerating the stresses and strains of everyday life. It has begun to protest, expressing its discontent with symptoms such as redness, prickling, stinging… In the most severe cases, women with sensitive skin feel they have to opt out of “high risk” situations, which also means they can miss out on living a serene and fulfilled life.

Expert dermatological brand La Roche-Posay shares its insights into sensitive skin’s true impact on women’s lives – and tips on how to regain control.