With a scorchio weather forecast for this bank holiday, we all need to take extra care when playing in the sun. After such a long winter, it is very tempting to over indulge and soak up the suns rays, but your skin just won’t be ready for long unprotected bursts. Follow our five top tips to protect your skin this weekend, and stay sun safe rather than sun sorry.
Use A High SPF Rating Sun Cream
Don’t be fooled in to thinking the sun cannot harm your skin in the Spring as it is ‘weak’. It shines 365 days a year and can damage your skin on any one of these days whether it be Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.
At least twenty minutes before you head out in to the sun, ensure you liberally apply a sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. This should be a broad spectrum cream that shields against both UV A and B rays. Reapply at regular intervals, especially after swimming.
Be Aware Of Reflections
If you are lucky enough to be lying on a sandy beach then you need to be aware that you are not only getting exposed to the suns rays from above but also from reflective surfaces such as sand and the sea. In the case of water, UV reflection can be as much as 30%.
To protect your skin, ensure you apply sun screen to all that is exposed, rather than skin that is directly facing the sun. Purchasing a good quality water resistant sun screen will give extra protection to swimmers from both reflective UV rays and those that penetrate the waters surface.
Cover Exposed Skin And Heads
Wearing a wide brimmed hat not only keeps the sun out of your eyes, but also protects your ears and face, something that baseball caps are notoriously bad at.
Necks are better protected by wearing a collared shirt rather than a round neck t-shirt but just remember to apply sunscreen to the exposed ‘V’ at the front of the buttons.
Stay Out Of Midday Sun
The suns rays are at their strongest when directly overhead, usually between the hours of 11am-3pm. If you can avoid it, stay out of the sun during these times, or at least limit your exposure.
If you know there is going to be little shade at your destination then it is imperative, especially if you have young children and/or dogs, to take some sort of shelter. This can be as simple as a sun umbrella or a pop up beach tent.
Be Wary On Cloudy And Windy Days
Most people who have been badly sunburnt will probably tell you it was during cloudy and/or windy days. The cooler temperatures can lull you in to a false sense of security, but clouds only stop around 27% of UV rays
People need to treat an overcast or cooler windy day as any other sunny day: liberally apply sun cream of SPF30+, stay out of mid day sun, cover the head with a hat and exposed skin with lightweight clothing, and err on the side of caution.
Protect your Skin
Your skin is the largest human organ and is exposed to everything from sub zero temperatures to scorching hot summer sun. Protecting it from damage is pretty easy but is often overlooked in the heat of holiday excitement. Superficial sun burn will dissipate over a relatively short time but the unseen damage to your skin will last a lifetime. So take some advice from Baz luhrmann and wear sunscreen.
For more information on keeping sun safe visit the NHS sunscreen and sun safety webpage.