Staying Safe in the Sun
With the start of Summer it is important we take care in the sun and look after your skin:
- Using the right sunscreen
It’s important to prevent your skin from burning by using a good quality sunscreen. So invest in a product that:
- Is “broad spectrum” and protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Is at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or more – this is the level of protection from UV rays that cause sunburn.
- Is water-resistant if you’re going in water or will be sweating a lot
- Is still in date and hasn’t been opened for more than one year
Apply plenty of sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply at least every two hours even if it starts to appear cloudy. Make sure you get good coverage – including your ears, lips and neck. Remember that even if you use water resistant sunscreen, you’ll still need to reapply straight after you’ve have been in water.
- Wear protective clothing
Protect your skin from UV rays by wearing loose clothes that cover your skin, such as long-sleeved tops and trousers ideally made from breathable fabrics. Some clothing now includes details of the UOF (YV Protection Factor) on the label too. The higher the UPF, the less UV radiation will reach your skin through the fabric. If you don’t have UPF clothing use clothing with a tighter weave, to do this hold your clothing up to the light and this will give you an idea of how much sunlight can get through.
- Check the UV index
The UV index tells you how strong the UV rays are in your area that day. The higher the UV index, the easier it is for your skin to burn and become damaged.
- Seek out shade
The sun’s rays are strongest around midday when the sun is highest in the sky – usually between 11am-3pm. So ideally avoid sitting in the sun at these times and try to find some shade if you can.
Sunlight also reflects off surfaces like water, sand, concrete and snow, and therefore even in shaded areas can damage your skin and eyes.
- Drink plenty water
When the temperature rises, your body sweats more to try and cool you down. It is important to keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids when its hot outside. Drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water per day and also tea, coffee, smoothies and low fat milk all count towards your daily fluid intake. Remember fruit juice and smoothies are high in sugar and should be limited to one glass per day. When possible, steer clear of alcohol as it is a diuretic and can make your more dehydrated.