Protect yourself from the sun this summer

Summer is here and if you haven’t already had your summer holiday, it’s probably not far away! Keeping safe in the sun is really important and as its national sun awareness week this week, we’ve written a guide to help keep you safe in the sun this summer.

Sun cream

Whilst it might sound obvious, are you applying your sun cream correctly? Here are our guidelines to ensure you get it right:

  • Apply 15-30 minutes before you go into the sun
  • Make sure you re-apply every two hours and be careful of ‘one a day’ products
  • Be generous! Make sure you apply a substantial amount for full coverage
  • Always re-apply when you have been in the water, but make sure your skin in clean and dry before application

What SPF sun cream should I use?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and indicates theoretically the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. So, if you were to wear a SPF 15 sun cream, that would allow you to stay in the sun fifteen times longer than you could without protection. 

Therefore, when selecting your sun cream, keep in mind how hot the destination you are going to is and what your skin type is like. No sun cream can offer 100% protection, no matter how high the SPF is. It will only offer the right protection if applied regularly and thoroughly. 

Dress accordingly

If you struggle in the heat, darker clothing is proven to provide a higher SPF and be mindful if clothing gets wet, it only offers half the protection when dry. If you want to know what protection your clothing offers you, hold it up to the sun and see how much light and therefore UV rays will get through.

Make sure when you are basking in the sun you have a wide brimmed hat to protect your face and eyes. Another essential are sunglasses! Not only are they are fashion essential, it’s really important to have a good pair of sunnies to protect your eyes. It really is worth investing in a pair that fit you properly and offer the correct protection. When buying a pair, you need to look for the following standards:

  • CE Nark & British Standard BS EN 1836:1997
  • UV 400 label
  • Statement saying they offer 100% UV protection

Protect your children

Did you know, the first fifteen years of a person’s life and unprotected exposure to the sun can dramatically affect the chances of getting skin cancer later in life? Therefore, making sure your little ones are protected properly is extremely important as sunburn during childhood doubles the risk of skin cancer. Always make sure that:

  • Your children wear sun hats and sunglasses to protect their faces
  • They wear a higher factor sun cream to ensure maximum protection
  • Stay out of direct sunlight from 11-3pm and stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Don’t be fooled, you can still burn your skin in the UK. So make sure they have sun cream on whenever the suns out and not just when on holiday
  • Regularly re-apply sun cream especially if they are in and out of water

Sunburn most probably has and will happen to most of us over the summer months. Have you ever wondered why sunburn hurts and peels? Well, let us tell you!

Why does sunburn hurt?

Your body’s attempt to repair the damage is what causes the painful symptoms of sunburn. Your blood vessels swell, allowing blood to rush in, which is why it looks red. This blood is hot which is why sunburn often feels really warm. Cells from your immune system travel in the blood and release chemicals which can trigger inflammation, which is why sunburn can feel swollen and painful.

Why does sunburn peel?

Sunburn peeling is your body’s way of getting rid of the damaged skin cells, these are at a higher risk of becoming cancerous. Remember though, every time you get sunburnt some damaged skin may remain which is why is important to not get sunburnt in the first place.

Whilst a lot of what we’ve explained is common sense, please take care in the sun as prolonged exposure in the sun without protection can be extremely damaging.  

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