Us Brits are notorious for going on holiday and looking like a Swizzels drumstick lolly within hours of arriving, but we need to stop this from happening as it’s causing long lasting damage to our skin.
We’re here to tell you how to protect your skin, what SPF actually means and the potential problems you might face if you don’t look after your skin in the sun.
What does SPF mean?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. It is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from UV rays. Nowadays you can buy moisturisers with SPF in, but is this actually enough if you expose your skin to high levels of sun? The answer to that is no, a moisturiser with an SPF in is fine for everyday protection against UV rays but it wont stop you from burning in the summer sun, you will need a proper sunscreen as well.
What can happen if I don’t protect my skin?
Most of us will know the answer to this as it’s fairly common sense but the simple answer is you will burn if you don’t use adequate sun protection. Lots of us burn each summer but that’s fine because that heals up and your skin is then back to normal, right? Wrong. Once your skin has been burnt it increases your chances of getting skin cancer. Each time you burn increases your chances more and more.
In a study by Brown University in the U.S, which followed 100,000 women over a twenty year period found that five serious sunburns between the ages of 15-20 increased their chances of being diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer by 80%.
5 ways to protect your skin from the Sun
1 – Always wear a sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy.
2 – Choose a sunscreen that protects against from both UVA and UVB rays and with a high star rating on the back of the bottle.
3 – Limit the time you spend in the sun, Between 10am and 4pm is when the sun rays are most intense.
4 – Accessorize with a hat that shades your face, neck and ears and wear sun glasses with lenses that have 99% to 100% absorption rate for the eyes and surrounding skin.
5- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours in strong sun or every 1 hour if you are swimming or sweating.
Not only does protecting our skin from the sun prevent skin cancers, it keeps us looking younger too. If you have any worries about your skin, speak to your GP immediately. For further information regarding sun safety, visit the NHS website by clicking here.