Here are some helpful facts to ensure you and your family have a healthy and happy summer by protecting your skin:
- Sunscreens work by absorbing or reflecting the sun’s harmful UV rays. You want a product which has a minimum of SPF 15 to ensure your skin is protected from UVB rays. These are the rays which burn your skin. To make sure your skin is protected from premature ageing and skin cancer, your sunscreen should be labelled “broad-spectrum,” meaning that your are protected from both UVB and UVA rays.
- 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun’s rays, you should apply your sunscreen generously and evenly to your skin to allow it to bond. If you tend to burn easily, or just want extra protection, apply a second coat 20 minutes later. You should reapply every 2 hours, after swimming or sweating.
- The chemicals in sunscreen eventually break down, meaning protection from the sun’s rays will be compromised. That is why you must reapply sunscreen, but also why using expired sunscreen is not as effective. (Someone I know got burned badly after applying expired sunscreen! It almost ruined her vacation!)
- The time between 10am and 4pm is the time when you need the most protection from the sun’s rays, with midday having the strongest rays. The sun’s rays are also harsher the closer you are to the equator and at higher altitudes. Exposure can be increased with reflective surfaces, such as snow, water or light coloured sand.
Be smart and wear sunscreen… It could save your life!