Sun Safety: Important Advice on Protecting your Skin

Sun Safety: It is highly important to stay safe in the sun and ensure that skin is protected. Sunburn of any severity increases the risk of skin cancer and can happen even on cloudy days. The NHS advises that there is no safe or healthy way to get a tan, and contrary to popular belief, a tan does not protect the skin from the sun’s harmful effects. Experts advise that people find a balance between getting enough vitamin D and protecting their skin from sun cancer.

Sun Safety Tips for Adults:

  • Between March and October, it is advised to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
  • Ensure that your skin never gets sunburnt.
  • Cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses.
  • Make sure sun cream is at least factor 30.

What Is the Best Factor Sun Cream to Use?

  • The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least 30 to protect against UVB.
  • The sun cream should have at least a 4-star UVA protection rating. This can also be identified by the letters UVA in a circle, which shows that the sun cream meets EU standards.
  • It is important that the sun cream isn’t past the expiry date.

How to Apply Sun Cream

  • As a guide, adults should apply 2 teaspoons of sun cream if just covering their head, arms and neck. This should be increased to 2 tablespoons when covering the whole body. If you are worried that you aren’t applying enough sun cream, then it would be worth increasing the SPF level that you are using.
  • Sun cream should be applied liberally and frequently according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is generally every 2 hours.
    Swimming in the Sun
  • Water washes sun cream off of the skin and has a cooling effect that can make you feel like you aren’t burning. Water also reflects UV rays, and so increases the amount of exposure your skin is getting.
  • It is important to always use water resistant sun cream when you are planning on swimming or know you may be in a situation that will cause you to sweat.
  • Even water-resistant sun cream should be reapplied straight after being in the water or towelling yourself dry.

How to Protect Children in The Sun

Children and babies’ skin are much more sensitive than adult skin and so it is important to take precautions when they are in the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer later in life. The NHS has some tips for how to protect their skin.

  • Children under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight.
  • From March to October children should be covered with suitable clothing and spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
  • They should also wear sun cream with an SPF of at least 30.

The Importance of Clothing and Sunglasses

A day in the sun without proper eye protection can cause a temporary, yet painful burn to the surface of the eye. Reflected sunlight from snow, sand, concrete and water is particularly dangerous. Wearing wraparound sunglasses, or sunglasses with wide arms is the best way to prevent this damage from occurring.

It is also important to wear clothes that provide sun protection as well as sun cream. These could include:

  • A wide brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • A long-sleeved top
  • Trousers or skirts in close weaved fabrics so that the suns rays cannot travel through