Safer Sun (I)

Safer Sun (I)

Part I: Exogenous sun protection - shade, clothing & cream


by Dr. Huong Nguyen | Editor: Dr. Sabine Nunius | June 30, 2022

We have arrived in the middle of the heat of summer. Many of us enjoy a holiday by the sea, spending the afternoons in our own greenery, by the lake... In order for your skin to get through the summer well despite all the activities, you need the right sun protection. I advocate that we ALWAYS, EVERY DAY - at least in the warm season - apply sufficient sun protection.

Photoaging – aging booster for the skin

Most of us are now very aware of the risk of skin cancer caused by excessive exposure to the sun or even sunburns. Because the number of cases continues to rise and more and more young people are affected. That alone is reason enough to take a closer look at the topic of sun protection and approach it consciously.


Protection from UV radiation is also essential to avoid premature skin aging. UV rays are the number 1 trigger and accelerator among external skin aging factors. By damaging DNA and proteins, they destroy the elastic connective tissue of the dermis and thus rob your skin of its elasticity, tone and volume. The formation of wrinkles and irregular pigmentation are accelerated. Fortunately, you can specifically counteract this development. Just a few small hacks will help you protect your skin easily and yet effectively. So you can be a carefree but conscious sun worshipper!

Exogenous sun protection: shade, clothing & CREAM

Exogenous - sounds pompous, but it just means that you use external aids for sun protection. Sun protection products are not enough. Rather, we have to put together an all-round package:


1) Sounds trivial, but it is essential for sun protection: avoid direct sunlight! At least in the most radiation-intensive phases of the day, i.e. between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., you should stay in the shade or only briefly in the direct sun. It is not without reason that “siesta” is often the order of the day in southern countries.

2) “Textile sun protection”, i.e. suitable clothing and sunglasses, is an indispensable measure. Especially when there is strong sunlight, it is advisable to keep all parts of the body covered - with clothing, hats and even parasols.

An average white T-shirt has a UV protection factor of 10, which means a tenth of the radiation gets through. Cotton and linen provide the least protection, nylon, wool and silk provide better protection, and polyester provides the least radiation. And under an umbrella? About 50 percent of the sunlight still comes through.

3) The classic: sunscreen. These are particularly important for parts of the body that cannot be protected in any other way, especially our face, neck and neck area and our hands.

Sunscreens are certainly the most common protective measure in our latitudes. However, after applying cream, we run the risk of feeling safe and enjoying the sun too carelessly. Sunscreens have the lowest protective effect among the exogenous measures mentioned. They are therefore not sufficient as a sole means. In addition, the application plays a crucial role here. In part 2 of our Safer Sun series, I'll tell you how you can achieve the full protective effect of your sunscreen and what else you can do to offer your skin the complete sunscreening program!