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How much sun can my skin tolerate? – 7 sun protection tips.

One thing is clear, we have to protect ourselves from the sun. But sun protection is much more than covering yourself with sunscreen or applying a day cream with UV protection every morning. It's also about finding the right balance for your individual skin type. How much sun can my skin tolerate and when should I avoid the sun? Do I need sunscreen every day or is it enough if I take care not to get sunburnt?


7 sun protection tips for your skin - Five Skincare

Ibiza tan or Snow White's paleness?

It's spring! Almost. Do you also use every ray of sunshine to warm up your mind and body in the warm rays? Well, after six months of fog and cold, that's probably allowed. But how much sun can my still fresh winter skin tolerate?

I am often asked by you about sun protection. I have dealt intensively with the question and came to the conclusion that it is ultimately a matter of knowing your skin type well and correctly assessing the current conditions. This also includes the fundamental discussion of the tan:

Is my summer tan so important to me that I'm willing to take risks? Or do I decide this summer for the noble, but unfortunately not very hip Snow White pallor?

Personally, I won't be sunbathing this year. Simply because I hardly ever tan and I don't want to deliberately accelerate the aging of my skin.

My goal with this post is for you to think about your personal priorities and use a conscious strategy to find a way this summer to protect yourself enough from the sun without losing the joy of it. So here are a few tips:

Know your skin type and correctly assess the UV radiation

Skin types are different. Also in terms of sensitivity to UV rays. It has been proven that people with a darker skin type tolerate more sun and also have a lower risk of skin cancer. Again, there are light skin types who absolutely do not like the sun.

If you are thinking about your individual sun protection, you should take this into account. The risk of developing the dangerous black skin cancer is also higher if you hardly ever sunbathe and then spend two weeks in the sun on vacation from 0 to 100.

UV rays have different intensities . Assessing strength is not easy. In general, the intensity is much higher in the mountains, and not just when there is snow. The season also has to be taken into account and the load is greatest around midday.

Uff, that's quite a lot of factors. But there is a remedy here too: Many weather apps have an integrated UV index. For example , Wetter XL (iOS) or the website . The app from Meteoschweiz is recommended for Switzerland. You can easily read the current value for your location and, together with the knowledge of your skin type, determine the best level of protection for you.

I know that nobody voluntarily accepts a sunburn these days, but it still happens. With the UV index you can avoid this in the future.

Tip: In our article Natural sunscreen - what to look out for? you will learn more about sun protection and which sun creams the FIVE team has tested for you and found to be good.

Sunscreen is not your number one sunscreen

Recently I was allowed to attend a lecture by dermatologist Dr. medical Paul Scheidegger attend. In it he mentioned a simple three-step rule that makes a lot of sense, but is easy to forget. The best protection from UV damage comes in the following order:

1. Avoid the sun
2. Protective clothing
3. Sunscreen

Sunscreen comes in third place, quite rightly so, because even sunscreen with SPF 50 does not completely shield you from harmful UV radiation.

The three-step rule does not mean that you should no longer use sunscreen, but shows the effect of the individual measures. No sunscreen can protect you from intense sun for a day, but tightly woven clothing can. Coupled with an airy, stylish cut, this should not be a problem in summer and even be fun.

7 tips for sun protection - Five Skincare

weigh risks rationally. Sunscreen vs Sun

Applying lotion all over your body is tedious. The clothes turn yellow, the skin becomes impure and anyway, sun creams are also harmful. (And, I want to get a tan too, hello!) Does this chain of arguments sound familiar to you?

You're right, sunscreens with synthetic filters are suspected of having a hormonal effect. And they consist of a cocktail of sometimes questionable ingredients, that's a fact. And although the formulations keep getting better, the clothes still stain and I personally break out every time I apply sunscreen.

But it's also a fact that dermatologists' offices are overcrowded with skin cancer patients. Black skin cancer is the 5th most common type of cancer in German-speaking countries. And black skin cancer is no trifle.

As I write this blog post, it strikes me once again that common sense and risk assessment should be the basis for rational decision-making. For me, this means comparing one evil (sunscreen) and the other evil (skin cancer).

The data is clear. It is much less risky to protect your skin with sunscreen than not to use sunscreen. Sometimes I can overlook a discolored T-shirt.

Don't focus on the sunburn

Of course, if your skin is as red as a tomato, it's a clear sign that you've just put your skin through too much. But your veggie patty isn't cooked until it has a few charred spots.

Even without sunburn, the skin must be protected from the sun's rays. A sunburn is the disaster for your skin and more than a warning sign. You should never let it get that far.

Sunburn is caused by UV-B rays . However , UV-A rays are primarily responsible for skin aging . They penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. And right up to where skin aging begins: The free radicals that are formed accelerate the breakdown of collagen fibers. The skin loses elasticity and becomes slack.

This damage is irreparable, and no anti-aging cream can do anything about it. So if your closet is full of anti-aging products but you're laying out in the sun all summer long, then you should seriously consider your priorities.

There is no cream that can repair the damage caused by the sun and even an après-soleil only manages to moisturize the very top layer of skin.

It's the crowd

You probably know the saying: The skin never forgets a sunburn. It should be more correct, The skin never forgets a ray of sunshine .

UV rays damage the genetic material. To a certain extent, the body can repair this DNA damage, but individual cells can remain damaged and develop into cancer cells. A cell degenerates when the skin cell has accumulated many genetic defects and the cellular repair systems are overwhelmed.

So once again: it's the quantity that counts. That's why pre-tanning is useless, because any exposure to the sun is harmful to your health.

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Check your vitamin D status

A popular argument is that sunscreen should prevent the absorption of sufficient vitamin D. I can understand the excuse, didn't each of us complain about a perceived or proven vitamin D deficiency just a few days ago? After all, vitamin D also puts you in a good mood and we don't want to do without it.

However, experts simply do not agree whether sunscreen restricts the absorption of vitamin D to such an extent that a deficiency could occur or whether the influence is too small and the vitamin D stores are full in summer anyway.

The fact is, vitamin D deficiency does not affect everyone equally. A simple blood test gives clarity. If there is actually a vitamin D deficiency, you can still decide whether you would rather take drops or tablets or whether you would rather go out in the sun without sun protection to fill up the tank.

However, when the risks and benefits are weighed up, experts agree that taking vitamin D by mouth is the lesser evil.

Think about day creams with UV filters

Many day creams, primers or make-up have a built-in sun protection factor (SPF). I find day creams with SPF questionable for two reasons:

  1. The amount matters: Do you apply a whole teaspoonful of your day cream to your skin? Even. But that much would be needed for the sun protection factor to achieve the described effect at all.

  2. As mentioned above, when it comes to sun protection, you always have to compare one evil with the other: Day creams with SPF contain almost exclusively synthetic filters and preservatives , since physical filters would simply whiten too much. These ingredients are suspected of having a hormonal effect.

    You don't need UV filters in your care in the office. Either way, you shouldn't go out in the sun. Especially not at lunchtime. However, it is advisable to always have sunscreen in your handbag. If you then go to the sunny terrace for an after-work aperitif, then apply proper sunscreen about 20 minutes beforehand.

    By the way, the day cream with the sun protection factor that you may have applied in the morning has most likely already lost some of its protection by the early evening.


  • Be clear about your skin type and orientate yourself on it and not on those around you with whom you are in the sun, because the self-protection time is individual. Use apps with a UV index to get an idea of ​​the current sun intensity.
  • Not only sunscreen protects you from UV radiation. Try to avoid the sun, especially at midday, and use airy but tightly woven clothing as sun protection.
  • Even if sunscreens contain questionable ingredients, you should not do without them, because the risk of developing skin cancer is greater than suffering damage from one of the ingredients.
  • Don't focus on the sunburn. Sunburn is caused by UV-B rays, but premature skin aging is primarily caused by UV-A rays.
  • Your cells store every solar experience. At some point it becomes too much for them and they can degenerate. Therefore, avoid any extra sun exposure, the amount makes the difference.
  • Any vitamin D deficiency can be compensated fairly easily with tablets. You will probably get enough vitamin D despite sunscreen. A blood test gives clarity.
  • Day creams with SPF offer little protection. Be selective about sunscreen and apply it liberally about 20 minutes before sun exposure. It helps to always have a sunscreen in your handbag. Don't skimp on the quantity: three tablespoons (!) are needed for the whole body.
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