Rebecca describes the benefits of being a Cosmetic Courses model

Cosmetic Courses is the UK’s largest training provider of medical aesthetic treatments. With the cosmetic industry booming, the demand for our training courses has never been so high. Because of this increased demand, we are always in need of new models to join the team.

What do we mean by ‘models’?

For  the past 15 years we have trained over 4500 medical professionals in a range of advanced skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing treatments. Through this, we require models who are happy to have these skin treatments in a training environment and the major benefit is you receive your treatments at greatly discounted prices. So if you don’t want to break your bank balance but still want a first class treatment, then becoming a model with Cosmetic Courses is a fantastic alternative.

One of our loyal models, Rebecca explains the major benefits of becoming a Cosmetic Courses model:

Like a large number of our models, Rebecca was recommended to us by a close friend. She also saw the financial benefits as a huge motivation to come to Cosmetic Courses over another skin clinic. She describes her treatments as excellent with very natural results. Our aim at Cosmetic Courses is to produce subtle enhancements that slowly rejuvenate your skin over time rather than completely change how you look. As supermodel Christie Brinkley says, “You still should look like you!”

Even though Rebecca has only been attending as a model for 6 months she has already had a couple of treatments with us, including:

  • Dermaroller (Skin Needling)
  • Upper Face Botox


“I was made to feel very comfortable, very professional. I’d definitely recommend it” – Rebecca


Modelling for Cosmetic Courses

We have a wide range of non-surgical skin  treatments available to our models including Dermal Fillers, Botox, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and Microsclerotherapy. These are offered in our 4 training centres across the UK: Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire,  Alvechurch in South Birmingham, Harley Street in London and Bingley near Leeds.

If you are interested in registering to be a model please fill in our contact form and one of the team will be in touch to discuss upcoming appointments.


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Posted on September 23, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

Cosmetic Courses finalists once again for Aesthetic Awards ‘Training Initiative of the Year’ 2016

Cosmetic Courses have been providing award-winning aesthetic training for 15 years and we are very proud to announce that, once again we have been shortlisted in the category: ‘Training Initiative of the year’ at The Aesthetic Awards 2016.

Our use of a diverse team of hand-picked trainers and the small group workshops we provide ensures quality, experience and success. As the largest and longest running provider of Botox training, we have supported over 4000 doctors, dentists and nurses in setting up their highly successful aesthetic practices. We would be truly honoured to win this highly prestigious award.

We will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the training we deliver
  • How engaging the training methods are and the quality of the delivery of the training
  • The continuous development and improvement of our courses
  • The achievement and success of the delegates whom have taken part

There will be no voting process, the winner will be decided by the judging panel.

About the Awards

Aesthetic Awards aims to celebrate the best of the best when it comes to medical aesthetics in order to celebrate the success and achievements of the profession within the last year. It represents the highest standards of clinical excellence, practical achievement and product innovation. There are 24 categories designed to celebrate and commend the winners and also the finalists for their services to the profession.

The ‘Training initiative of the Year’ award recognises the training programme which has advanced the education of medical aesthetics the most effectively during the previous 12 months. The 2016 Awards will be held on Saturday December 3rd at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge. We hope to see some of you there!


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Posted on September 23, 2016 by: CosmeticCourses

CASE STUDY: Lower Lip Droop Following Injection of Botox to the Mentalis Muscle

Dr Fiona Durban presents a case of a female patient who was injected with Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox) to the mentalis and depressor angular oris (DAO) and later presented with a lower lip ptosis on the right side.

The Botox Treatment

I reviewed a 56 year old female patient who was treated with Botox by another practitioner 3 weeks prior. The patient had previously been injected with 5 units of Botox to the mentalis and 2.5 units had been injected in each depressor angular oris muscle (as seen in the diagram below).

Botox training: Injection sites for lower face Botox to mentalis muscle

The mentalis is a common area of the lower face to inject with Botox. The treatment helps with puckering or dimpling of the skin overlying the chin and can soften a deepening mental crease as well as prevent downturned mouth corners.

At review she presented with a drop of the right side of her lower lip only on active movement such as smiling with her mouth open or talking (see photos below). Her smile at the mouth corners remained symmetrical. She also reported some improvement had been noted in the few days prior to her review appointment.

Cause and Solution

The cause of her lower lip droop was likely to be diffusion of the product from the mentalis muscle into the adjacent depressor labii inferiori muscle. No other treatment could be given at this point. I recommended a ‘wait’ approach for resolution of this unwanted effect.

Key Points to Consider

The mentalis is an easily identified muscle and therefore is wrongly assumed in many cases to be a ‘safe’ area to inject with little chance of adverse outcome. It is important to only inject within your competencies, when you have sufficient training to inject with the correct dosage and placement.

It is also crucial that you make your patient aware of any potential adverse outcomes of treatment, however rare and support the patient during this time as it can be quite distressing.

Injections to the lower face with Botox can have positive results for your patients but only once you have sufficient training to perform these techniques correctly. The treatment of lower face Botox is covered within our advanced Botox and dermal filler training course. This is a full day course which can either be completed as a small group session or on a one-to-one basis.

You may also be interested in our video series led by our Clinical Director and Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr Adrian Richards discussing managing common complications from Botox treatment.


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Posted on September 23, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

Update your Approach to Lip Augmentation with Expert Advice from Dr Olha

Without a doubt, 2014-2015 has been the year for lip filler in the UK non-surgical aesthetic market. We only need to take a look at the biggest search engine; Google to see that it is the most searched for cosmetic treatment and this demand is only increasing:

Olha Vorodukhina Cosmetic CoursesOur expert Lip Masterclass trainer and Aesthetic Dentist at Shine Medical Dr Olha Vorodyukhina offers her advice on why lip fillers are essential for any cosmetic practice and how to safely deliver this treatment to your clients.

The Demand for Lip Fillers

At Shine Medical we receive enquiries about lip fillers almost every day. When speaking with my patients, a majority of them have considered this treatment at least once and it is without a doubt one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

A key aspect of determining the correct treatment plan for your patient is to be mindful of what they are trying to achieve but also what you feel comfortable with as a practitioner. I see a range of patients all with different expectations from lip augmentation treatment.

Following the ‘Kylie Jenner Lip Craze’ we do have a lot of young women in their 20s looking for a more noticeable increase in the size of their lips but we also see middle-aged women and ladies in their 70s looking for a more subtle enhancement to restore shape and volume that has been lost during the ageing process.

Lip filler is a highly versatile treatment for any age, gender and look that is trying to be achieved and with the continual demand for this procedure, we believe it is an essential part of your treatment portfolio.

Confidence is Key

We often hear from delegates at our Lip Augmentation Masterclasses that they do not feel confident or comfortable enough to offer lip fillers to their clients. This is despite them knowing there is a high demand for this procedure.

And this is absolutely understandable. Lips are one of those areas that can create swelling and bruising both during and after the treatment which can be disconcerting for both you and your patient.

However, the good news is that if lip augmentation is performed correctly, it is one of the most rewarding treatments to carry out.

Patient Consultation and Assessment

With more celebrities than ever being featured in the news with their plumped up pouts it is important to manage your patient’s expectations and not allow them to push you over the limits of a safe treatment. Key to this is identifying your patient’s needs as well as their expectation from the outset. This is where your consultation and communication skills come into play.

During our Lip Masterclass one of our main learning objectives is correct treatment planning and patient management.

Assessment of the lips cannot effectively be performed by simply looking at your patient. It is important to ‘look beyond your patient’s mouth’ by looking inside the mouth as well. You will be looking for dental occlusion, teeth positioning, smile lines and facial expressions. Assessing each of these areas in detail with allow you to create a bespoke treatment plan for your patient.

You will also then be equipped to select the most appropriate dermal filler product. This will be determined by what you are trying to achieve, whether it be:

  • Restore age-related atrophy
  • Add volume
  • Define the shape of the lips
  • Restore philtrum columns
  • Give support to oral commissures

Very often you may be looking to achieve more than one of these outcomes and therefore you may combine fillers of different viscosity to deliver the most natural and effective results for your client.

Method of Injection

An area we focus on during our Lip Masterclass is method of injection. When injecting the lips an important decision that you’ll make is whether to use a needle or a cannula. A cannula can be uncomfortable for your patient and in some cases creates more swelling but a needle is more likely to cause bruising. Often, for my patients I use a combination of both cannula and needle.

The best way to minimize trauma is by injecting indirectly and minimizing, where possible, the number of injection points.

But always remember that whichever method you choose and are comfortable with, if your patient does experience bruising and swelling this doesn’t necessarily mean you have injected incorrectly. The truth is 1 in 5 patients will bruise following lip augmentation, so don’t let this knock your confidence.

‘Always aim for natural results. It’s better to under treat than over treat.’

By knowing the right technique and restoring the natural tubercles of the lips you can achieve great results by using only 0.5-1ml of dermal filler product.

Dr Olha’s Lip Filler Before and After Photos

Book your Lip Masterclass with Dr Olha Today

So if you’re interested in learning how to create beautiful, natural-looking lips with Dr Olha, book on to our lip masterclass today. You can secure your place online or alternatively you can contact the team who will be more than happy to answer any questions.

Dates will shortly be released for our Lip Masterclass in the Midlands so please let us know if you would like to be added to our waiting list.


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Posted on September 16, 2016 by: CosmeticCourses

Control your shine this Summer with NeoStrata Sheer Hydration

In the United Kingdom we long for the Summer sun all year round. But we certainly don’t long for the oily faces many of us inevitably suffer with when the sun shows it’s face. We want to feel beautiful, not greasy when the sun shines!

This is when NeoStrata Sheer Hydration daily moisturiser becomes your new best friend. It not only protects your skin from sun damage with it’s SPF 35 protection, but it controls oiliness, evens out skin tone and unlike many other sun creams and moisturisers doesn’t have that sticky, greasy feeling on your skin.

83% of users reported skin feels hydrated without feeling greasy*

NeoStrata Sheer Hydration SPF 30

This oil-free daily moisturiser helps to control and minimise skin oiliness whilst it’s SPF 30 provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection which pharmacist Shailesh Patel explained the importance of in this recent blog on sun protection. It is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark sun spots as it contains patented NeoGlucosamine® which evens skin tone. 83% of previous users reported smoother skin texture, better clarity and younger-looking skin*. Now who doesn’t want that?

It’s oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic.

Skincare Results

Results after 4 weeks of using NeoStrata Sheer Hydration SPF 35 show:

  • 100% of users reported this product is gentle, absorbs easily, is compatible with makeup, and is not irritating*
  • 93% of users reported improved overall appearance of skin*
  • 86% of users observed brighter/more luminous skin*

*Data on file, NeoStrata Company, Inc.

10% off NeoStrata Sheer Hydration

September Skincare Offer

For the month of September we are offering the NeoStrata Sheer Hydration Daily Moisturiser at 10% off its recommended retail price.

WAS £38.62

NOW £34.78

As you can imagine, this is one of our most popular moisturisers at this time of year so if you would like to take advantage of this offer please contact the team to place your order as this offer is only valid whilst stocks last.

Offer expires on 30th September 2016.


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Posted on August 30, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

Cosmetic Courses Shortlisted for Best Training Program 2016 at the Prestigious My Face My Body Awards

After our success at last year’s My Face My Body Awards winning ‘Best Training Program 2015’ we are proud to announce that we are once again finalists for ‘Best Training Program’ 2016.

Over the past year we have been continuously improving the quality of our aesthetic training we provide to our delegates. We offer an ever-increasing variety of cosmetic courses from basic Botox and Dermal Fillers to Chemical Skin Peels and Microsclerotherapy to name just a few. We have also invested in online learning such as our Managing Botox Complications online video series.

As always we pride ourselves on the amount of hands-on practical training we offer to our delegates with all models provided by us covering a wide range of skin types and concerns.

We’d love to be recognised once again for the quality of our aesthetic training program but in order to do this, we need your support!

Our category will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Does your training programme engage with the delegates and is it well received?
  • How much time is allocated to practical hands-on assessment?
  • What level of support do you offer following training such as e-learning, videos or mentoring?
  • Do you offer a full range of training workshops within Aesthetics?
  • Is your training course accredited?

It only takes a few seconds to vote in the My Face My Body Awards. So if you’ve trained with us at Cosmetic Courses and would like to lend us your support, we’d really appreciate it! 

How you can vote for us

You can cast your vote on the main My Face My Body Awards page here. Scroll down to Best Training Program, click in the check box next to Cosmetic Courses, then scroll down to the green ‘Submit Your Vote’ bar.

Alternatively, you can go to our entry page and leave your comments at the bottom of our listing  here – this also counts as a vote for us, so either way is fine!

About the My Face My Body Awards

The My Face My Body Awards is the premier consumer and industry awards event for the cosmetic industry both in the UK and across the world. They were launched to educate a wider audience about the aesthetic industry and have quickly become one of the most high-profile awards, attended by experts in this field as well as a host of celebrities!

There are even awards for newcomers to the aesthetic industry including Best New Practice. So if you’re just starting out in your aesthetic career, you could set your sights on Best New Practice 2017 and learn from the finalists of this year’s awards to find out what it takes to win one of these prestigious awards.

This year the My Face My Body Awards will be held at the 5* Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London on Saturday 12th November 2016. There will be a drinks reception, followed by a 3 course meal before dancing the night away in the magnificent ballroom.

As always, our dedicated team of trainers including Clinical Director Mr Adrian Richards himself and our hardworking course co-ordinators will be present on the night, enjoying a well deserved evening of celebrations.

To book your tickets for the awards please click here:

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page in the coming days. We’ll be putting up some badges soon that will link through to our award entry page. After the awards, we’ll put up some photos from the night too.

In the meantime thanks for your support, and if you can spare a couple of seconds to vote for us, we’d be hugely grateful!


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Posted on August 26, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

12 Areas to Inject Botox for Facial Rejuvenation

In this article we take a look at the 12 areas for treating both the male and female face using a combination of foundation, intermediate and advanced botox training techniques.


Botulinum Toxin Type A, commonly known as Botox was first used for aesthetic purposes in 1990. Over the past 26 years the interest and demand for this treatment has grown substantially, as illustrated in the following Google Trends graph:

(figures only available from 2004)

However, this growth in demand for Botox treatments has also changed in nature. As our knowledge of this drug has broadened and consumers have become more aware of the different areas of the face that can be treated with Botox, the range of techniques we provide as aesthetic practitioners has also diversified.

Areas to Consider

Diagram of the 12 Areas to Inject Botox for Facial Rejuvenation | Cosmetic Courses

In the early years of practice following our foundation-level training we limit our treatment with botulinum toxin to the upper third of the face;

1. Frontalis Muscle/Horizontal Forehead Lines

2. Glabellar complex/Frown Lines

3. Crow’s Feet

These areas can be treated independently of one another however it is important when analysing your client’s facial expressions to consider the opposing actions of the elevator and depressor muscles.

It is safe to inject the glabellar complex in isolation without injecting the frontalis muscle however in general it is not advisable to only inject the frontalis muscle, as this would potentially increase the activity of the glabellar complex, which may result in a heavy frown.

Therefore, it is important during the patient consultation to make it clear that if their sole concern is the horizontal forehead lines and are expecting to pay for one area of Botox that you explain the need for the glabellar complex to be injected in tandem to prevent heaviness. This will build trust with your client and help them to better understanding the mode of action of their Botox treatment.

The crow’s feet can be treated in isolation and helps to soften the fine lines that appear around the edge of the eyes when the orbicularis oculi contracts. From experience, not every patient likes the effect of Botox to their crow’s feet so it’s vital to discuss with your patient what they hope to achieve and areas of concern.

Once you are competent in these basic Botox treatments you can then complete your advanced Botox training to safely introduce these techniques into your practice. The reason a majority of the lower face and neck treatments are deemed as advanced is because they have a much more complex muscular structure.

4. Brow Lift

Non-Surgical Brow Lift Training at Cosmetic Courses

In females, the desired eyebrow shape is described as having the highest point of the arch directly above the lateral canthus and the medial and lateral points of the brow lying on the same horizontal line.

As we age, the lateral portion of the eyebrow tends to move downwards, causing heaviness.

A ‘brow lift’ is an advanced Botox technique that requires relaxation of the depressors and activation of the elevator muscles and can be used to treat a patient presenting with heaviness in the brows.

As we mentioned above, the glabellar complex and frontalis muscle have opposing actions. The glabellar naturally depresses the brows and the frontalis naturally elevates them. Therefore to achieve a brow lift, we need to fully treat the glabellar area allowing the frontalis to lift the eyebrows.

In addition, treating the superior lateral orbicularis oculi will allow this portion of the orbicularis oculi to assist in the brow lift effect.

We would not recommend performing a non-surgical brow lift with botulinum toxin if your patient presents with laxity in the eyebrow or eyelid as they may experience a ptosis. Male brows also tend to be flatter in appearance so raising the brows may feminise the face. As with all these treatments, it is important to discuss with your patient their expectations and treat accordingly.

5. Bunny Lines/Nasalis Muscle

Another advanced Botox technique is to inject the nasalis muscle to prevent what’s commonly known as the ‘bunny lines’. These are lateral wrinkles that appear at the top of the nose, between the eyebrows. If your patient is concerned about these lines you can inject a small amount of Botox into the nasal bridge to soften this area.

6. Tip of the Nose

As part of your non-surgical rhinoplasty training you not only learn how to smooth contour irregularities with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers but you are also taught how to lift the tip of the nose using Botox injections.

By injecting the depressor septi nasi muscle, the tip of the nose becomes elevated. This is an extremely advanced technique and is only advisable for those who have completed advanced Botox training as too high a dose of Botox could lift the tip of the nose too high, resulting in an unfavourable appearance.

This is only effective if the tip of the nose drops when smiling, it will have no effect if your patient presents with a downward facing nasal tip with a static facial expression.

7. Gummy Smile/Excessive Gingival Display

Displaying an excessive amount of teeth and gums known as a ‘gummy smile’ can be very distressing for some patients and effect their social interactions.

Injecting the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle which elevates the upper lip will lower the placement of the upper lip, reducing the extent of the ‘gummy smile’.

This is a complex treatment and too high a dose of Botox can result in excessive lowering of the upper lip so it’s important to be adequately trained in this procedure prior to performing it in your clinic.

With the correct advanced Botox training, this can produce confidence-boosting results for your clients.

8. Peri-Oral Rhytides/Smoker’s Lines

Advanced Botox Training: Peri-Oral Rhytide Treatment at Cosmetic CoursesThe peri-oral area also known as smoker’s lines is among the most difficult to treat well because of the complex nature of the anatomy surrounding the mouth. The close association of the many elevator and depressor muscles can make it very easy for the toxin to diffuse into adjacent muscles.

The orbicularis oris is comprised of four independent quadrants. It is not a simple sphincter muscle but is made up of multiple muscle fibres that travel in different directions around the mouth.

Only dynamic wrinkles around the lips will be helped by injections of toxin. Static lines are caused by loss of volume surrounding the mouth and are better treated with dermal fillers.

Consider the implication for your patient in the event of a less than optimum treatment. Although only temporary, any inability to articulate certain words or sounds or the inability to purse or pucker the lips can be of greater impact in some patients or professions.

9. Depressor Anguli Oris/Downturned Mouth

Botox Injections for the Depressor Anguli Oris MuscleDuring your Foundation-Level Botox and Dermal Filler Training course you will have been taught to treat marionette lines and downturned mouth corners with dermal fillers.

However when you complete your advanced Botox training you will learn to treat the depressor anguli oris muscle with botulinum toxin to prevent the downward pull in the mouth corners, resulting in a more relaxed and youthful appearance. The depressor anguli oris muscle is visible when contracted by asking your patient to say the letter ‘e’ in an exaggerated fashion, showing the lower margins of the canine teeth.

The aim of this treatment is to relax the depressor anguli oris to allow unopposed elevation of the mouth corners by the upward pull of the risorius, levator anguli oris and the zygomatic major.

10. Puckering Chin

As we age, there is a loss of collagen, elasticity and support of soft tissue over the bone structure in the chin which can lead to the development of a horizontal mental fold. A hyperkinetic mentalis muscle can also lead to puckering of the chin. By weakening the mentalis muscle with Botox injections you will be in effect lengthening the chin to help improve the appearance of both the dimples and the mental fold.

For optimal results and longevity, Botox injections into the mentalis muscle can be combined with dermal fillers into the marionette area.

11. Square Jaw

A patient may present with extreme squareness of the jaw if they suffer from masseteric hypertrophy. Whilst some patients find this favourable, in some females, this can appear more masculine. In order to feminise the face, Botox injections can be placed into the masseter muscle to soften the shape of the jawline.

Enlargement of the masseter muscle, known as masseteric hypertrophy occurs in patients who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) and in rare cases those who excessively chew gum. This muscle can be felt by asking your patient to clench down heavily on their molar teeth.

The aim of injecting Botox into the masseter muscle is to produce disuse muscle atrophy and it is important to explain to your patient during the consultation that the treatment will need to be repeated over time to produce optimum results.

12. Platysmal Bands and the Nefertiti Lift

Advanced Botox Training: Nefertiti Lift at Cosmetic CoursesSkin laxity, loss of volume and gravity are all contributory factors to the ageing of the neck.

The platysmal muscle is a depressor complex constantly pulling downwards which can lead to the development of jowls or horizontal “necklace lines”. By combining advanced Botox injections into the platysmal bands with injections along and under the mandible you can reduce these horizontal rhytides and improve the definition of the mandibular border. The injections under the mandible are known as the “Nefertiti Lift” after Egyptian Queen Nefertiti who was thought to have the perfect mandibular contour.

Advanced Botox Training with Cosmetic Courses

Since the inception of Botox for cosmetic use in 1990 the extent of our ability to alter facial expressions for facial rejuvenation has grown considerably. Whilst we still teach in the basic botulinum toxin techniques initially, it is important to understand that there is huge potential with this treatment. Being able to offer complete facial rejuvenation to your clients will give you that edge against your competitors.

Our expert team of trainers have been providing aesthetic training to doctors, dentists and nurses in these advanced Botox techniques for the past 15 years. They have seen how its use has diversified allowing us to continually adapt our course content to provide you with the most up-to-date techniques.

Our Advanced Botox and Dermal Filler training course can be completed as a small group session or on a one-to-one basis and is available at our dedicated training centres in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire and Bingley, near Leeds. If you would like any further information on our advanced training courses or would like to book a course please don’t hesitate to contact our co-ordinators who would be more than happy to assist you.


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Posted on August 19, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

Your FIVE minute guide to sunscreen and sun care for your patients

As an Aesthetic Practitioner you will be well aware of the importance of protecting your skin from the sun. However, this awareness does not always carry over into the general public. To help advise your patients on the importance of sun protection and the different products available Shailesh Patel, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmacyspace offers his five minute guide to sunscreen and sun care.

Most of us enjoy being in the sunshine, it makes us feel good, but too much sun exposure can lead to adverse effects on our skin such as; sunburn, skin ageing, sun induced skin allergies, cold sores and immunosuppression of the skin. So using a good sunscreen product with an SPF30 or above and a high UVA protection rating should be an essential part of a daily skin care routine, as well as seeking shaded areas to avoid sun exposure during 11.00am and 3.00pm, and protecting the skin with clothing.

Sun protection needs of individuals will vary according to;

  • skin type,
  • age,
  • gender and
  • daily activities.

It is important to provide product recommendation and advice which provides protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. UVB has a wavelength of 290 – 320 nm and is mostly responsible for sunburn and contributes to skin ageing. In the UK the sun is at its strongest in the middle of the day between 11.00am and 3.00pm. In hotter regions nearer the equator, UVB is more constantly present and intense.

UVA radiation has a longer wavelength of 320 – 400nm. Although it does not burn the skin, UVA does increase the burning effect of UVB and can cause skin cancers just as much as UVB. It is little affected by the seasons – it can be almost as strong in the winter as in the summer. This is why it is important to use a sunscreen which has high UVA protection. UVA penetrates deep into the dermis, where the supporting collagen and elastic fibres are contained. Much of the signs of skin ageing, such as loss of skin tone, sagging, enlarged blood vessels, uneven skin tone and wrinkles, are the result of UVA exposure. It is also responsible for photosensitivity reactions.

Skin type affects how the skin will react to the sun

One of the most commonly used skin type classifications is provided below.



Type I

Northern European. Pale skin, often burn and rarely tan. They generally have light coloured hair or red hair and freckles. Blue or green eyes.

Type II

European/Scandinavian. Usually burn but may gradually tan. They are likely to have light hair, and blue or brown eyes. Some may have dark hair but still have fair skin.

Type III

Southern European. Central European. Burn with long exposure to the sun but generally tan quite easily. They usually have a light olive skin with dark hair and brown or green eyes.

Type IV

Mediterranean, Asian, Latin America. Burn with very lengthy exposures but always tan easily as well. They usually have brown eyes and dark hair.

Type V

East Indian, African, Native American, Have a naturally brown skin, with brown eyes and dark hair. They burn only with excessive exposure to the sun and their skin further darkens easily.

Type VI

African, Aboriginal. Have dark brown/black skin with dark brown eyes and black hair. They burn only with extreme exposure to the sun and their skin further darkens very easily.

Adapted from D’Orazio JA, Jarrett S,  Marsch A, Lagrew J, Cleary L (2013). Melanoma – Epidemiology, Genetics and Risk factor. Recent advances in the biology, therapy and management of melanoma. Dr Lester Davids (ed). 

Skin types I and II are at the greatest risk of sunburn and skin ageing whilst in the sun. Whereas darker skin types have increased levels of melanin and provide more protection.

Suncream productsWhat’s in the sunscreen products?

Sunscreen products contain organic UV filters (chemicals which are designed to absorb UV light) such as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, and inorganic (mineral) filters such as titanium dioxide which reflect and scatter the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) at the skin surface. Once opened, the packaging will give an indication of the expiry of the product. After this expiry period sunscreens will lose their effectiveness; this is normally an icon of a small jar upon which will be a number, generally 3, 6 or 12, with a ‘M’ next to it.

What is Sun Protection Factor (SPF)?

The SPF is mainly a measure of UVB protection and indicates how long a person can stay in the sun without burning with sunscreen on compared to a person without sunscreen on. For example, if it takes 20 minutes for unprotected skin to start to burn (turn red), then a SPF 15 sunscreen will protect them for 15 times longer (i.e. approx. 5 hours). However, it is important to remember that sunscreen products should not be used to increase the amount of time spent in the sun. SPFs are now categorized as providing low to very high protection. These are also printed on the product labels.

Low protection

SPF 6 and 10

Medium protection

SPF 15, 20 and 25

High protection

SPF 30 and 50

Very high protection


What are the UVA stars and circle?

The star system is widely used in Europe to indicate a products UVA protection. A product with five stars indicates excellent protection against UVA equal to the SPF. The EU recommendations in 2006 also introduced a UVA logo (letters UVA printing in a circle) to show that the product achieves the requirement.

Sun Protection and Skin CareHow to apply sunscreens correctly

It is widely recognised that people who use sunscreen protection do not apply the required amount of sunscreen. Hence the importance to apply sunscreens evenly and liberally to achieve the indicated SPF. Particular attention should be given to those areas that burn easily such as ears, nose, neck and lips (via a lip screen).

Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before going out and to apply a second application just as you go out i.e. 30 minutes after the first application to correct missed areas and ensure adequate application.  If a sunscreen has a high SPF factor it will provide greater protection to the areas where they are thinly applied. As a general guide an average sized adult should apply approximately 35ml (6 full teaspoons) for full body application – a teaspoon for the face, each arm, each leg, the front of the body and the back.

An overview of our advice on protecting your skin from sun damage

  • Choose a sunscreen labelled broad spectrum or high protection against UVA and UVB so it offers balanced UVA and UVB protection e.g. SPF30 and 5 star UVA
  • Do not stay in the sun too long, even whilst using sunscreen, as no sunscreen can provide 100% protection
  • Use a high protection sunscreen and re-apply frequently and generously, especially after perspiring, swimming or towelling
  • In sunny weather, seek shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Cover up with clothing and don’t forget to wear a hat that protects your face, neck and ears, and sunglasses
  • Never let your skin burn
  • A tan is a sign of sun damage to the skin

Picture Shailesh Patel, Pharmacist at Pharmacyspace

is based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and is dedicated to providing a trusted and cost-effective service for your clinic supplies. The handpicked team of dedicated staff will ensure that you get the products you need for your clinic, together with a professional service.



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Posted on August 10, 2016 by: Sarah Reid

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