Repeated sunburn greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to protect your skin and to avoid overexposure to the sun. Read on for more info on how to guard against sunburn…
Avoid Strong, Direct Sunlight
Usually, the sun is at its fiercest in the middle of the day and can burn you much more quickly than most people expect. It is best to avoid being in the sun between 11am and 3pm, and you should definitely not deliberately sunbathe at this time of day. Stick to shady areas, out of direct sunlight. This strategy has the double benefit of keeping you a bit cooler during the hottest part of the day.
Watch Out for Reflected Sunlight
Even reflected sunlight can be strong enough to cause serious sunburn. The main culprits are water and snow, both of which can easily reflect enough sunlight to burn you. In these cases, remember that the reflections might be coming from below you which can lead to sunburn in unexpected places. Always protect any exposed areas of skin, and stay off the water or the snow during the middle of the day.
Always Use Sun Cream
Apply sun cream to your skin before going out, and re-apply it frequently during the day. Factor 15 is the bare minimum sun cream you should ever use, and children should always use factor 50 or better. Read the label before buying, and chose a sun cream that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Use a water-resistant sun cream if you’re going to be in the water, but remember that drying yourself with a towel will always rub off any sun cream – even a waterproof one – so you still need to re-apply it once you’ve dried off. For short periods of sun exposure, (e.g. 20 minutes of so,) you may only need to apply sun cream to areas of your body that aren’t covered by your clothes. If you’re going to be out for longer, you should apply sun cream to your whole body.
Wear a T Shirt (at least!)
Bumbling around topless in the sun is never a good idea and can lead to nasty cases of sunburn. So at the very least wear a t-shirt to give some extra protection to your body. Ideally, you should wear trousers too. Light-coloured or white clothing may give you more protection, because light colours will reflect more sunlight away from your body. But remember: even if you’re wearing clothes, you still need the sun cream because some sun will get through lightweight summer fabrics.
Wear a Hat
Your head and neck always take a hammering on sunny days. Choose a hat with a brim – this will help keep the direct sun off the top of your head and will cast your face and neck into shade. It is particularly important to wear a hat if you have thin hair or bald patches. A burned scalp can be extremely painful!
Your eyes and the skin around them are delicate. Your vision can be disturbed or damaged by direct sun or reflected glare. The skin around your eyes is particularly prone to premature ageing as a result of sun exposure. On sunny days you should protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that offer UV protection. Sunglasses with polarised lenses are particularly effective at blocking reflected light.
If you’d like to buy some sun cream, we sell factor 25 sun lotion in very handy sachets (click here.) We also have an A4-size sun awareness poster, which you can download in .pdf format below: