With the sun making a welcome appearance this week, countless Brits found themselves unprepared and somewhat red by the time the clouds reappeared. Because we don’t live in a tropical climate it can be all too easy to forget about sun protection, choosing instead to soak up as many rays as possible.
Staying out in the sun unprotected can lead to sun damaged skin and increases your risk of skin cancer (just one bad burn doubles your risk of melanoma). So in order to be sun smart this summer, make sure you reacquaint yourself with the basics:
Understand what SPF means
SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and one measure of SPF means how long a sunscreen will protect against sunburn. This refers to the theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burned. For example, an SPF 25 would allow you to be out in the sun 25 times longer than you could if you had no protection. It is important to remember this is relative to the amount of time that you personally (and your skin type) can stay out in the sun.
Use the right amount of sunscreen
If you don’t apply enough sunscreen the actual SPF could be just one-third of the label SPF. Ensure you apply two thick layers of sunscreen for optimum protection.
Re-apply, re-apply and then re-apply again
Sunscreen absorbs UV radiation by converting it into heat – this means that once the sunscreen has been converted, it dissipates and is no longer protecting you. Make sure you re-apply often, especially if you are dipping in and out of a pool.
Wear hats and sunglasses
We love an excuse to accessorise – and sun protection is perhaps the best reason for buying hats and sunglasses. Protecting your eyesight and delicate skin on your scalp and face, be sure to carry these accessories with you on sunny days.
Avoid peak sun time
On hot sunny days, try to avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10 and 4pm. Take this as an opportunity to sit in the shade with a cool drink and watch the world go by.
Get suspicious moles checked
If you are worried about a mole, don’t delay getting it checked. It may well be nothing, but only a doctor will be able to determine this.
If you’re keen to get a tan this summer, take a look at our tanning page to see what other options are available.
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