Undoubtedly the sun has an uplifting effect on our mood, but excessive exposure can be very harmful. Damaging UV rays have both short and long-term consequences, leading to premature ageing and, most dramatically, skin cancer. Aesthetics expert DR CLAIRE OLIVER looks at how to ensure you protect your skin.

If you’ve ever had a facial that includes a 3D skin analysis, chances are you’ll know only too well the shock of seeing the damage that’s been done to your face over the years. While you may look great on the outside, a scan of what’s going on under the surface can reveal a very different story indeed.

And there’s really only one thing to blame. The sun.

More than any other daily aggressor, damaging UVA and UVB rays have a lot to answer for when it comes to our complexion. And while the sun, in moderation, can definitely have a positive on our mood as well as provide us with vitamin D, improve circulation and increase metabolism, too much can be dangerous. So much so, that the damage caused by over-exposure and lack of protection is the greatest challenge facing our skin health.


All-year-round sunshine is an attack on the skin and one way it defends itself is to produce new pigment. Over time this damage works its way to the surface resulting in the appearance of wrinkles, mottled pigmentation and age spots.

UVA penetrates deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature cell ageing, fine lines and long-term damage. UVB causes sunburn and direct damage to our cells’ DNA and is thought to cause most types of skin cancer.

Packing sunscreen for your holiday is as important as ensuring your passport and tickets are in your hand luggage, and these days few of us would lie by the pool without having covered ourselves in SPF30. But when it comes to hot days at home, how many of us can honestly say we religiously apply a sun protection? And, to take it one step further, would you do the same on a cloudy October day?


UV radiation is present all day, every day – and yes, in winter as well as in the summer – so invest in sunscreen that is designed to protect against both UVA and UVB. Heliocare®is clinically proven to protect your skin against environmental challenges and helps to prevent the signs of ageing. Each product provides high-level broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and contains Fernblock®, a patented natural complex of powerful anti-oxidants that help prevent damage to skin cells. For enhanced protection and high-level SPF50, Heliocare® 360° is ideal for those who spend a lot time outdoors or who have fairer skin.

The ZO Skin Health sun protection range offers effective daily solutions to minimise UV damage, prevent DNA damage and protect from environmental aggressors to improve overall skin health. The range boasts a combination of organic and inorganic sunscreens, plus fractionated melanin. ZO’s products offer that all-important protection while at the same helping skin to increase tolerance and stimulate skin renewal.

Also choose products that can help improve previous damage. ZO, created by world renowned dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi, is a range of clinical-level skincare and is suitable for all skin types. Its active ingredients work to stop the skin from producing too much pigment, reduce fine lines and rejuvenate your complexion leaving skin feeling healthy and looking more even.

Contact Dr Oliver and her team for further advice or a complimentary CoolSculpting® consultation. Air Aesthetics has two multi-award winning clinics in the West Midlands – one in Henley-in-Arden and the other at The Cube in Birmingham city centre.

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For more information call 0845 519 5377 or visit our ZO Skin Health page HERE.