First of all why is Sun Protection important?
Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan doesn't protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects.
Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October.
Make sure you:
· Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
· Make sure you never burn
· Cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
· Take extra care with children
· Use the proper factor of sunscreen
It is beneficial to put rash-guards & sun-suits on kids to give them extra protection.
What factor sunscreen (SPF) should I use?
Don't rely on sunscreen alone to protect yourself from the sun. Wear suitable clothing and spend time in the shade when the sun's at its hottest.
When buying sunscreen, the label should have:
· A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB
· At least four-star UVA protection
UVA and UVB rays
UV rays are what cause the damage and are the ones you need to protect your skin from, with both types being linked to skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are responsible for skin reddening and sunburn. It’s also the main culprit for skin cancer but also causes tanning and premature ageing. UVB rays vary in strength depending on location, the time of day and the time of year.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays penetrate deeper into your skin and are responsible for tanning. They also cause premature ageing such as wrinkles. UVA rays are normally fairly consistent all year round and at any time of the day.
When buying sunscreen you want to look out for a broad spectrum version, which protects you against both types of UV rays.
What are the SPF and star rating?
· The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) protection.
· SPFs are rated on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with 50+ offering the strongest form of UVB protection.
· The star rating measures the amount of ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) protection. You should see a star rating of up to five stars on UK sunscreens. The higher the star rating, the better.
· The letters "UVA" inside a circle is a European marking. This means the UVA protection is at least one third of the SPF va