Frequent unprotected exposure to the sun can cause early wrinkles, eye damage, immune system suppression and skin cancer. No matter what your skin colour, we are all vulnerable to sunburn and it is vital to be sun safe. Take action now and protect your skin from the sun this summer by following our top 10 guidelines.
1. Choose a lotion or cream sunscreen that filters out UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply sunscreen daily, even on overcast days, since the sun's rays penetrate clouds.
2. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen half an hour before getting dressed over the whole body from the neck down.
3. Massage an SPF 15 or higher oil-free lotion onto your face (avoid the eyes). Remember that certain creams (like Retin-A and AHAs) and medications (like antibiotics) can make skin more sensitive to sunlight – so use at least an SPF 30 in such cases.
4. Coat the lips with an SPF 15 lip balm and reapply often during the day.
5. Wait at least 15 minutes for your sunscreen to be fully absorbed by the skin before applying moisturiser or make-up.
6. Remember to apply sunscreen everywhere – the top of the ears, between fingers and toes, on the tops of the feet, behind the knees. Also apply sunscreen on top of your scalp, especially where your hair parts.
7. It is very important to reapply sunscreen every two hours or after each swim, even if the sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof.
8. A sun umbrella does not offer enough protection against the sun, since sand and water reflect the sun's rays.
9. Cosmetics that contain SPF do not replace sunscreen. You still need to apply your sunscreen every two hours.
10. Sunscreen usually has a three-year shelf life, but if used correctly it should barely last through your holiday.