Sunscreen and Sun Safety.
Sunburn increases you risk of skin cancer. Sunburn doesn’t just happen on holiday, you can burn in the UK, even when it’s cloudy.
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.
Sun safety tips:
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 at least factor 15 sunscreen
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:
the letters “UVA” in a circle logo and at least four-star UVA protection
a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB
Don’t spend any longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.
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.
SPF’s are rated on a scale of 2 to 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 value, and meets EU recommendations.
Sunscreens that offer both UVA and UVB protection are sometimes called “broad spectrum”
How to apply sunscreen:
If sunscreen is applied too thinly, the amount of protection it gives is reduced. If you’re worried that you might not be applying enough SPF15, you could use a stronger SPF30 sunscreen.
If you plan to be out in the sun long enough to risk burning, sunscreen needs to be applied twice:
30 minutes before going out
just before going out.
Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears – and head if you have thinning or no hair – but a wide-brimmed hat is better.
Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally and frequently, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
This includes applying it straight after you’ve been in water – even if it is “water-resistant” – and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off.