How to enjoy the sun safely this summer
With the English summer finally coming into full swing, getting out in the sunshine has become central to most events on the social calendar. With barbecues and beach days galore, how can we make sure that our skin is protected while enjoying the summer sunshine? Take a look at our handy guide below for our top tips!
Safe Sun Exposure
Limiting the time you spend in the sun is the key to enjoying it safely. In as little as 15 minutes, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin! That’s why it’s best to avoid direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm, when these rays are at their strongest – instead, keep yourself covered up or stay in the shade during these times.
UVA vs UVB: what’s the difference?
We know that excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin cancer, but what’s the difference between UVA and UVB?
UVA rays are the sun’s ‘weaker’ rays; they are less intense than UVB rays, but don’t let that fool you: they penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays, and have been shown to cause damage to the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin where most skin cancers occur. Excessive exposure to these rays also causes premature skin aging and wrinkling.
UVB rays, on the other hand, are the rays penetrate less deeply, but are responsible for sunburn and reddening of the skin, so causing damage to its outermost layer. They also play a major role in the development of skin cancer.
The Best Sun Cream
As we have seen, both UVA and UVB rays can cause damage to the skin and, ultimately, lead to skin cancer. This is why it’s important to ensure that your sun cream can protect you from both of these types of rays.
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of a sun cream indicates how much of the sun’s UVB rays are blocked by the sun cream: look for a cream with an SPF of 30 or higher; these block 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.
You should also ensure your sun cream has a high UVA star rating; this indicates how much of the sun’s UVA rays are blocked and can be from 0 up to 5 stars. Look for a cream with a 5-star rating to ensure the highest level of protection.
For tips on applying sun cream to ensure you’re best protected, check out this article on Sun cream application tips !
Cover Up in the Sun
If you can’t avoid the sun at its strongest, make sure you’re wearing clothing to protect your skin from its damaging UV rays.
Hats, cover ups and special sun protection clothing, which has Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), are all great ways to cover up your skin. But your eyes are sensitive too!
The Best Sunglasses
Sunglasses are great to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, but make sure you’re investing in
the right pair before you buy! Look for sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s UV rays, or have UV 400 protection.
The Benefits of Sunshine
It’s not all bad! Although it’s important to be careful in the sunshine, there are also a huge number of benefits of getting out in the sun!
Benefits include an improved mood and boosted production of vitamin D.
However, if you do have any skin worries, or notice any irregularities or new moles on your skin, it’s important to get them checked out promptly:
call us on +44 (0)20 3575 1474 or visit our contact page to get in touch as soon as possible.