As the weather begins to get sunnier, and our hours with daylight become longer, it is good to revisit those key steps to protect ourselves against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is important to find the balance between protecting ourselves from the sun’s harmful effects and getting enough vitamin D from the sunlight.
Sunburn does not just happen on holiday, you can burn even on a cloudy day. In order to protect yourself: •
Try to spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest (usually between 11-3pm).
- Prevent burning! If you do burn, sponge the affected area with cool water and apply Aftersun Cream or Aloe Vera Gel. Seek medical help if you feel unwell.
- Keep covered with light, tightly woven, loose fitting clothing. Note: a wet t-shirt is less protective than a dry one.
- Use sunscreen! When picking your bottle look out for a label with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against UVB. UVB and UVA are both types of ultraviolet radiation linked to skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply and cause what is known as photoaging, or premature aging of the skin.
- You should choose a sunscreen a 4-star UVA protection rating or more. Check your sunscreen is not past its expiry date, most sunscreens have a shelf life of 2 years, and when applying the cream be sure to use enough.
Note: The equivalent of two teaspoons of sunscreen is sufficient if you are just covering your head, arms and neck. You will need to re-apply sunscreen after swimming.
- Drink water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated. We should aim for at least 6 – 8 glasses of water daily, particularly when it is hot. Note; If you feel thirsty it is a sign you are already dehydrated!
- Consider using some accessories. A wide brimmed hat or cap can help protect your face/eyes/ neck from sun damage. Sunglasses will also help protect your eyes; but remember, the most expensive pairs may not provide the most protection, choose a pair that offers an 100% UV Block.
- Sunscreens should not be used to allow you to remain in the sun for longer – instead, use them to give yourself greater protection!