We all know how important it is to apply sunscreen, all year long, to protect our skin from UVA and UVB rays. However, getting a sunburn from falling asleep under the sun or forgetting to reapply sunscreen during the day can still happen to anyone. Here are a few tips to prevent and soothe sunburns.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

What type of rays is responsible for sunburns? It is quite easy to remember with the last letter: UVB burns, and UVA ages.

  •  UVB = BURNS
    • Rays penetrate less deeply and damage the outermost layers of the skin, these rays are blocked by windows or glass
    • The main cause of sunburns
    • Responsible for tanning
    • Rays penetrate more deeply and are not blocked by windows or glass
    • Accelerates skin ageing, pigmentation, tumours and photosensitivity

How to prevent sunburns?

Sunburns can appear as redness on the skin and can take up to 24 hours to develop. According to the Arizona Department of Health, a sunburn can occur in as little as 10 minutes on unprotected fair skin depending on the UV index that day.



Let’s look at some myths and truths regarding sun exposure.

MYTH 1: I don’t have to apply sunscreen on a cloudy day or in winter.

REALITY: Clouds do not protect us from sunrays, as UVB and UVA rays can still pass through the atmosphere on overcast days. As for snow, it can actually increase the intensity of UV rays, as it deflects sunrays.

MYTH 2: There is a significant difference between SPF levels above SPF 15, so an SPF 30 is twice as effective as an SPF 15.

REALITY: There is only little difference between an SPF 15 and an SPF 30, in terms of effectiveness when filtering UVB rays. An SPF 15 blocks 93.3% of UV rays, whereas an SPF 30 blocks 96.6% of UV rays.

NOTE: Unless the product explicitly states on the label that it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, the SPF index indicated on a sun protection product only refers to the number of UVB rays blocked.

MYTH 3: A high SPF sunscreen will protect all day long with only one application.

REALITY: All sunscreens must be reapplied regularly, regardless of its SPF, especially after swimming or exercising.

MYTH 4: My makeup contains SPF, so I’m protected when I go sunbathing for extended periods of time..

REALITY: Sun products need to be reapplied regularly when skin is fully exposed to the sun. Therefore, the SPF contained in makeup only offers protection for day-to-day activities, such as driving to and from work, not for extended periods of full exposure to the sun.

MYTH 5: Some sunscreens are waterproof or sweat-proof, therefore they maintain their SPF, even in the water.

REALITY: Waterproof sunscreen will maintain its indicated sun protection effectiveness when in water for up to 80 minutes, after which the SPF value will start to decline. However, water-resistant sunscreen will maintain its indicated sun protection effectiveness when in water for up to 40 minutes, after which the SPF value will start to decline.  

MYTH 6: Chemical and mineral sunscreens are the same.

REALITY: While chemical filters absorb sunrays, mineral filters deflect sunrays preventing them from penetrating and damaging the skin. Mineral SPFs are often preferred as they are well tolerated and unlikely to cause any skin irritation.



Just looking at this information paints quite a negative picture of sun exposure. However, we must not forget all the good things that come from it. The sun is responsible for vitamin D production in the body, which assists in regulating blood pressure, helps to strengthen our bones and elevates our mood to avert depression. Applying daily sun protection is a must to avoid the damaging effects of the sun while receiving all its benefits.

 G.M. Collin’s sun protection collection offers two mineral SPF products, one for everyday wear and one for extended exposure to the sun.

SPF 25 URBAN PROTECTION VEIL should be applied daily, even when at home, as often we can step out for a short walk, to get the mail or to go for lunch, for example. The sun’s rays can still filter through glass. Therefore, even driving can expose your skin to UV rays.

When spending an extended period outdoors, we should apply SPF 50 HIGH PROTECTION VEIL for maximum protection.

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How to soothe a sunburn?

So, what can we do if we forget to apply an SPF and get sunburnt? Here are some helpful tips to soothe the skin, speed up the healing process, and repair some of the skin damage sustained from a sunburn. The first thing most individuals who are sunburnt want is a relief from the associated discomfort, namely heat and skin sensitivity. When skin is burnt by the sun, we need to both soothe the skin and initiate the healing/repair process as soon as possible. The severe dehydration that accompanies a sunburn also needs to be addressed.




Should be applied daily for one to two weeks, depending on the sunburn intensity, to soothe and hydrate the skin. Containing Polynesian exopolysaccharides synthesized by kopara microorganisms from Mo’orea, Aqua Mask provides immediate and long-lasting hydration to the skin. It also contains PatcH2OTM, which provides both express and sustained hydration, and replenishes and reinforces the skin’s moisture barrier.





Should be applied morning and evening to promote skin's rehydration. This product was the first product that Dr. Lapinet, the founder of G.M. Collin, formulated to heal the skin of burn victims and minimize associated scarring. Formulated with a biotechnology-derived complex to promote extended moisture and utilizing skin-compatible bovine collagen, it offers higher efficiency in soothing, moisturizing, and increasing the suppleness of skin. A definite must-have for your summer sun collection.





Should be applied daily before Native Collagen Gel or Aqua Mask. These single-dose capsules do exactly what the name states, they COMFORT the skin. They contain ceramides, unsaponifiable oils and vitamin E to nourish the skin while minimizing moisture loss. They also replenish the skin's moisture barrier and prevent further transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and dehydration.





Should be applied morning and evening to soothe and hydrate the skin. The delicate whipped texture instantly melts into the skin, leaving it soft, soothe and supple. BODY Melt-In Balm is formulated with maracuja oil, an eco-responsible ingredient sourced in Peru, with Theobroma cocoa extract, and with wild mango and shea butter. It reduces the appearance of redness resulting from dryness, provides intense and immediate hydration, and soothes and nourishes very dry skin to minimize the appearance of lines, wrinkles and crepiness, and diminish skin flaking and peeling.




To keep your “glow on” make G.M. Collin your go-to summer sun companion!