Whilst we welcome the warmer weather with open arms, it is important to remember to keep safe in the sun. Not only can the sun dehydrate the skin, causing premature ageing, but over exposure and burning can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Whether you’re old or young you need to protect your skin, which is most at risk between 11am and 3pm. During these times it is best to stay inside or in the shade, to wear a t-shirt, sunglasses and a hat and to ensure you have applied enough sun cream.
With so many options when it comes to sunscreen it can be hard to know which one to use, when and how often.
So we are here to help.
We will begin by saying that whilst sunscreens can help protect the skin they do not protect us completely from sun damage on their own. It is vital to use cream and the precautions and steps we have already mentioned, if you want to stay safe and happy.
When you look for a sunscreen it is suggested that you buy one that has:
- A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 (UVB protection). It is a good idea to be aware that those with a higher factor don’t always provide a vast amount more protection and don’t mean you can stay out in the sun for longer – the same application rules apply.
- A star rating of at least 4 stars (UVA protection).
Once you have chosen your product, it is vital to apply it correctly otherwise you are putting yourself, and those in your care, at risk.
It should go without saying, but apply your cream to clean, dry skin around 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
Slap it on
Many people simply do not apply enough cream to their skin and think a little goes a long way – not true. Our is to use around two teaspoons of sunscreen if you are covering your head, arms and neck and more like two tablespoons if you’re covering your whole body, whilst wearing a swimming costume. This might seem a lot but if your skin is exposed then burning and damage can easily occur,
Reapply, reapply, reapply
Sunscreen is really is easily rubbed, sweated and washed off the skin so follow the instructions to the letter. Never skip an application – especially in the middle of the day – as you will regret it. This also goes for ‘water resistant’ and ‘waterproof’ products – once you are out of the water and have dried off, reapply to ensure you are safe.
Keep them cool
Store your sunscreen in a cool place. Extreme heat can ruin their protective chemicals and again put you at risk from the sun.
Check the expiry date
Most sunscreens last for around two to three years, but check your sunscreen has not expired before you use it to ensure it will still offer the protection you are expecting. If in doubt, buy some more.
As well as using sunscreen, on warmer days it is also really important drink enough water to keep you feeling cool and hydrated.
Whilst sunburn is often short-lived and usually mild, try to avoid it because not only is it painful in the short term, but long term it can increase the risk of skin cancer. If it happens, you will know about it and will want to get into the cool. Apply a cold flannel to the affected skin. Drink lots of water, apply a water based after sun and if necessary take painkillers.
Enjoy the sun everyone, but keep safe.