Top ways to stay sun safe
Summer is here, and as lockdown measures continue to ease week-on-week we couldn’t be happier to get outdoors and enjoy nature at its finest.
With the better weather, however, comes a need for better skin protection. The UVA and UVB rays that are emitted from the sun may be present all year round, but they are more intense and harmful during the summer months.
Protecting your skin from the sun prevents untold damage, which can harm your skin cells for the short and long term. Repeated sunburns can double your risk of developing skin cancer, as well as make wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of ageing more visible.
Finding the right sunscreen and using it on a daily basis isn’t the only way to stay sun safe. We take a closer look at the top ways to protect yourself and your skin this summer.
Invest in a good quality sunscreen
There are so many sunscreens available, each boasting the best protection, but choosing a product that provides a sun protection factor or SPF of at least 30 is essential.
Your chosen sunscreen should also be labelled as ‘broad-spectrum’ to ensure it offers a good level of protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied daily, and not just in summer but all year round.
You should apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside and top it up regularly, especially if you come into contact with water or are sweating excessively. It’s recommended that you reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes to ensure full protection.
Accessorise with sun safety in mind
Dressing for the sun means so much more than donning your favourite summer dress. You can be sun safe and stylish thanks to your choice of accessories.
Wear sunglasses that provide complete UV protection, and accessorise further with a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your head, face and neck. If you wear contact lenses and makeup you may want to upgrade to lenses and cosmetics that provide UV protection during the summer months.
Letting your skin breathe by dressing in clothes made from breathable fabrics like cotton is another way to stay light and breezy even when temperatures climb.
Time your outings wisely
Being smart about when you’re outside will ensure you stay cool, comfortable and sun-safe throughout the summer months.
If it is a particularly hot day, you should avoid being outdoors when the sun is at its hottest, which is generally between 11am and 2pm here in the UK. If you do have to head out, make sure you and your family use the sun safety tips detailed above.
Stay hydrated all day long
You have to increase your water intake during summer to keep troublesome dehydration at bay. This is due to an increased amount of fluid being lost through sweating in hot or humid weather.
As well as keeping your body hydrated to enhance your energy levels and mood, drinking more water prevents headaches and skin problems. Those suffering from sunburn will also reap the rewards of a water-rich diet. Drinking water promotes faster healing of sunburnt skin and replenishes lost fluids to aid recovery further.
Applying water topically provides great results for those recovering from sunburn too as Healthline explains:
“Sunburn, basically, is inflammation of the skin. One of the easiest ways to treat inflammation is to cool down the affected area. An effective way to immediately help sunburn, even while you’re still outside, is to hop in the water, whether it’s an ocean, lake, or stream. Dipping in and out throughout the day can help keep sunburn from worsening.”
Working out in water another great way to keep cool during the summer months – just be sure to reapply your sunscreen!