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5 top tips to keep safe in the sun
As we enter into the summer months, it’s important to remember ways in which you can keep yourself and your family safe in the sun. No matter what the temperature is, it’s important to understand the power of UV rays and what you can do to stop it damaging your skin.
UV stands for ultra-violet and it comes directly to earth from the sun. The ozone layer actually protects us from a lot of UV rays, but some still reaches earth and can cause skin damage.
Skin damage includes sunburn, sunspots, and sunstroke. In some extreme cases, over exposure can cause skin cancer.
Unfortunately, you can still burn on a cloudy day and there is no safe way to get a tan. A tan does not protect your skin from UV rays.
So what can you do to look after the largest organ of the body (yes, that’s the skin!), whilst still getting enough Vitamin D?
1. Use sun cream and use it the correct way
SPF in your sun cream stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’. The NHS England recommends using an SPF no lower than factor 15, and factor 30 is the ideal to protect against UVB.
Depending on your skin type, also go for a higher factor and pick one with at least a four star UVA rating. Make sure you look for both UVA and UVB rating. As you need to take both into consideration when buying your sun lotion.
You may find your moisturiser or make up foundation contains SPF 15, but as these are mixed in with other products. These are unlikely to offer the same level of protection as sun cream with SPF 15 and 4-5 star rating for UVA.
Sun cream needs to be applied thoroughly and frequently if you are in the sun all day. Water also washes off sun lotion; so make sure you reapply immediately if you have been swimming.
2. Wear protect clothing in the heat of the day
Whilst it's important to wear sun cream as stated above. It's also important to protect yourself with clothing during hot weather.
Opt for longer trousers, skirts, tops or a cover up when you are on holiday, to protect your skin from the powerful UV rays across the world.
Don't forget a hat to protect exposed areas like your ears or nose!
3. Limit your sun time
It's recommended to stay out of the sun during the heat of the day, and this applies even more if you have children.
An adult should aim to stay out of the mid day sun from 11am-3pm, whilst children under the age of 6 months should keep out of direct sunlight.
Younger children are advised to stay covered up, wear at least SPF 15 sun cream and play underneath a parasol or umbrella where possible.
4. Always wear sunglasses
It’s not just your skin that is susceptible to damage from UV rays; they can impact your eyes too.
Make sure you buy a pair of sunglasses that states it blocks 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
5. Stay hydrated
We all know this one, but it’s always worth saying again!
Staying hydrated is important any time of year, but during the hot weather we lose more water than usual. So we become susceptible to dehydration.
Aim for 1.5L-2L of water a day!
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