As the sun brightens up our skies, it’s lovely to be able to get out and enjoy it – but it’s also essential that we protect our skin from its harmful effects. Follow our top 10 tips for a sun-safe summer…
With summer approaching and temperatures increasing, we need to know how to keep our families safe in the sun. Whether you’re in the UK or abroad, shielding your skin from the sun’s powerful rays is crucial. But you can have fun in the sun – just be sure to protect your skin.
1. BROADEN YOUR PROTECTION
For optimal protection against sunburn and skin cancer, make sure that you use products that shield the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays can burn the top layer of skin, while the deeper-penetrating UVA rays pass through clouds and windows to age the skin. Exposure to both types can increase our risk of skin cancer,’ says dermatologist Dr Samantha Bunting.
When you’re shopping for sunscreen, be sure that you understand the labels.
‘The sun protection factor [SPF] tells you how high the UVB protection is. In other words, how long you are protected from burning. An SPF of 15, for example, would protect your skin in the sun 15 times longer than when left unprotected. UVA protection is indicated by the star-rating system – go for products labelled as ‘brood-spectrum protection and use a minimum of SPF15 with a five-star rating, advises Dr Bunting.
We recommend the Australian Gold range of Holiday SPF sunscreen, which comes in a choice of Spray Gel or SPF Lotion. You may even want to try the Australian Gold SPF 10 with Bronzer for an immediate tan colour. Check out the full range of Australian Gold Outdoor SPF’s and Sunscreens.
2. BE CLIMATE SAVVY
Whether you’re lounging on a sandy beach abroad or out in your bock garden or local park, the same rules apply. ‘The best means of protection is to avoid direct sunlight and seek the shade, especially between 11am 3pm when the sun is at its strongest,’ says dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams.
And when it comes, to the SPF level it’s wise to adjust this to the climate you’re in. ‘On a sunny day in the UK, an SPF of 20 to 30 is sufficient, while In a tropical climate, go for SPF50 on all exposed areas of skin,’ adds Dr Williams.
To help protect your skin against premature ageing and other damage caused by the sun, incorporate an SPF moisturiser, such as Australian Gold SPF 50 Face Guard, into your daily regime.
3. APPLY GENEROUSLY
To get the level of defence promised by your sunscreen, you need to use it correctly.
Dr Williams recommends slathering on at least seven teaspoons for an adult for the whole body and three teaspoons for a child. ‘Apply at least 30 minutes before going outside, to allow it to sink in,’ she adds. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the sun, you must reapply every two hours – especially after towelling, sweating and – even if the product is labelled as waterproof.
4. TARGET SENSITIVE AREAS
It’s not just your nose and cheeks that need protecting. ‘Pay attention to delicate areas such as the hairline, lips and ears,’ says Dr Bunting. ‘These are often neglected, but are prone to burning easily, and we see the consequences of these years down the line, as they are common sites for skin cancer.’
You can protect your lips with Australian Gold SPF 30 lip balm (£2.79 per stick).
5. KEEP KIDS SAFE – FOR LIFE
Protecting your children from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn, but also reduces their risk of developing skin cancer later in life. ‘When the sun is strong, babies under six months should be kept out of direct sunlight entirely,’ warns Sarah Williams of Cancer Research UK. ‘Teaching your children to enjoy the sun safely and getting them into good habits when they’re young will stand them in good stead for taking care in adulthood, ‘If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding make sure you don’t scrimp on the sunscreen either – it’s safe for you to use.
6. DITCH OLD SUNSCREEN
Be careful about using last year’s sunscreen, particularly if the bottle has been exposed to very high temperatures, as this can destabilise it. Check the ‘period after opening’ symbol on the bottle- usually 12M’ (12 months). If you’ve had it open longer than the advised time, bin it.
Australian Gold SPF has a 24 month ‘shelf life’ – It’s extremely stable formula means you can count on it to be effective up to 24 months after its use by date.
7. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
In addition to slathering on the sunscreen; dressing sensibly can provide added protection from the rays. ‘When the sun is bright, cover up with long-sleeved shirts, trousers and hats with large brims,’ advises Dr Williams, It’s also a good- idea to invest in a sun-protection swimsuit as the kids love to splash about in the water for hours. Check out the range of clothes in your local clothing store, where you’ll find a wide selection of sun-protection clothing.
8. WEAR SUNGLASSES
The sun can cause a variety of problems for the eyes. Unprotected exposure to UV rays can increase your chances of developing cataracts, which can lead to damage to the retina, warns Dr Susan Blakeney from the College of Optometrists. Don’t forget that your kid’s eyes are still developing. When you are selecting sunglasses, try to choose ones carrying the CE mark. Consider choosing the best quality you can afford with polarising lenses for total UV protection and glare-free vision.
9. TEST YOUR SCHOOL
If you’re concerned about your child getting enough sun protection at school, especially during playtime and PE lessons, talk to staff at their school ‘Discuss sunscreen use with your child’s teacher or find out if the school has a Sun Protection Policy, as recommended by Cancer Research UK,’ suggests Sarah Williams. If they don’t have one, ask them to develop one.’ Policy guidelines can be found at sunsmart.org.uk/schools.
10. FAKE IT!
There’s no such thing as a safe tan, unless it comes from a bottle or spray booth. Like the sun, sunbeds emit harmful UV rays, which can damage the DNA in our skin cells. Even brief use carries a risk of premature ageing,’ warns Dr Bunting. There are plenty of products available at sunshinesupermarket.com that will get your limbs looking golden.