Stay Safe in the Sun
Hot weather, humidity, dehydration and excess sun exposure can all take their toll on our skin during the summer months. Follow our helpful summer skin care tips and solutions for keeping your skin safe and healthy in Bristol all summer long.
Although our first instinct when the sun shines is to strip off and head outdoors, like most things, sunshine should be enjoyed in moderation. You don’t have to avoid sunlight completely, but it's important to remember that too much sunlight can be harmful.
Despite most people believing that they only need to wear sun protection when they spend a day at the beach, or by the pool in actual fact, sun exposure adds up daily, and happens every time that we're in sunlight.
From slapping on the SPF to sitting in the shade, a number of simple measures can be taken to avoid the ageing, cancerous and damaging effects that the sun can have on our skin.
If you're planning on spending a prolonged period of time in direct sunlight, make sure to generously apply plenty of sun cream. The key to protecting your skin in the sun is to re-apply your sun cream at least every two hours - a little dab just won't do...you need to slather it on. When deciding which product to use, we'd advise choosing a lotion with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the better. Even with proper sunscreen use, some rays get through, which is why using other forms of sun protection like sunglasses and hats is also really important.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays is to find shade under trees, umbrellas and canopies. To avoid getting all hot and bothered seek shade when possible, and remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you're unsure about the strength of the sun’s rays, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat outdoors is a stylish and practical way to protect your hair, eyes, and skin from UV rays, so don’t let worries about messing up your hair keep you from throwing one on. After all, the protective effect of wearing hats far outweighs the problem of needing to run a comb through your hair a couple of extra times a day! Research has shown that for every extra inch of hat brim, the risk of skin cancer is lowered by 10%.
When protecting delicate skin around the eyes, UV-blocking sunglasses are essential. Recent studies have highlighted that long hours spent in the sun, without eye protection, can increase your chances of developing certain eye diseases and can even cause premature wrinkles. Sunglasses most likely to protect your eyes against sunlight are large-framed and wraparound styles. It's also advisable that young children wear smaller versions of real, protective adult sunglasses – not just toy ones.
Young skin is delicate and easily damaged by the sun, so regardless of whether they tan easily or not, all children should be protected from the sun. Believe it or not a staggering 50 % of total lifetime sunlight exposure occurs in childhood so teaching children safe sun habits while they're young will set a good pattern for later life. Protecting children from the sun not only prevents painful sunburn, it also significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
If you don't heed our advice and stay out in the sun a little longer than recommended, painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will help to ease the pain by reducing inflammation. Sponging sore skin with cool water, after sun or calamine lotion will also help to reduce the redness and dull pain. It's important to remember that burnt skint shouldn't be exposed to direct sunlight until fully healed.