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How to Safeguard Your Skin from the Summer Sun

As we bask in the warm embrace of summer, it’s imperative to enjoy the sunshine responsibly. Sunburn can spoil your summer fun and pose long-term risks to your skin health.

Sun Cream is Your First Line of Defence

Sun Cream isn’t just a beach day staple; it’s essential daily wear. Start your day by applying a broad-spectrum Sun Cream that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Here’s how to maximise its effectiveness:

  • Apply Early: Put Sun Cream on at least 30 minutes before you go outside to give it time to absorb fully.
  • Choose High SPF: Choose a Sun Cream that has a high SPF rating. It’s recommended for adults to use SPF 30 or higher, whereas children, who have more sensitive skin, should opt for SPF 50+ as it is advisable for them.
  • Reapply Regularly: Sweat and water can wash away Sun Cream, so reapply every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Protective Clothing

While a golden tan might seem appealing, protecting your skin is paramount. Sun protection clothing acts as a physical barrier against harmful rays:

  • T-Shirts and Tops: Wear densely woven but light-coloured clothing to cover your shoulders, chest, and back, which are prone to overexposure.
  • Hats: A wide-brimmed hat can shield your face, neck, and ears, which are particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
  • Swimwear: For extended periods in the water, consider a long-sleeved swim top for additional protection.

Eye Safety

The sun’s UV rays can also harm your eyes, potentially leading to vision problems. Protect your eyes with the right gear:

  • Sunglasses: Invest in polarised sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays to safeguard your vision.
  • Hat with a Brim: Wearing a hat can provide extra shade, minimising UV exposure to your eyes.

Seek Out Shade

The sun is most intense between 11 AM and 3 PM, making it crucial to find shade during these peak hours:

  • Use Umbrellas or Trees: Natural and artificial shade can significantly reduce your UV exposure.
  • Indoor Breaks: Don’t hesitate to take breaks indoors during peak sun hours to avoid overexposure.

Hydration is Essential

Staying hydrated is key when spending time in the sun. Heat and sun exposure can dehydrate you more quickly than usual, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses.

  • Drink Water Regularly: Carry a water bottle and sip frequently, especially if you’re active or it’s particularly hot.

Understand the Sun’s Strength

Awareness of the sun’s intensity helps you prepare adequately:

  • Time Your Outings: If possible, plan your outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense.
  • Monitor UV Index: Check the daily UV index in your area to determine necessary precautions.

What If You Get Burnt?

Even with preventive measures, sunburn can still occur. Here are some tips on how to ease your skin if you have spent too much time in the sun:

  • Cool Down: Apply cool compresses to the affected areas or take a cool bath.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body and help heal the skin.
  • Moisturise: Use aloe vera or a soothing moisturiser to reduce dryness and peeling.
  • Avoid Further Sun Exposure: Keep sunburned areas covered to protect them from further damage.

By following these tips, you can enjoy all the fun of the summer sun while minimising the risks. Stay sun-safe and make the most of your sunny days!