Health

Summer Safety Tips: Have fun without the skin damage

Mother-applying-sun-cream-to-daughter
Written by Amber Russell

 

Summer is inevitably here and for most, that means more time out in the sun. While you can make the most of your summer holidays, it’s also important to make sure that your skin is well-protected. Remember that even the effects of sun damage may be obvious to you immediately, this tends to be cumulative and over the years, neglect and lack of caution can certainly take its toll. In today’s post, we share three tips that will help you keep skin cancers, sunburns and premature aging at bay.

Know when to stay out of the sun

The most cautious thing you can do is to stay in the shade all the time, but where’s the fun in that? The next best thing is to at least keep out of the sun at its most damaging. The traditional wisdom was to keep out of the sun between 11:00am to 3pm but then again, the climate change phenomenon is making that advice outdated. A better rule of thumb to follow is the ‘shadow rule’— when the sun is shining down and your shadow is shorter than you, it means that the UV index is very high which means that you’d better avoid direct sun exposure.

It would also be a good idea to invest in clothes that are made of fabrics that have UV protection; these fabrics can repel UV rays to a significant extent and are often combined with cooling a sweat-wicking properties, making them ideal for hot weather.

Apply—and reapply—sunscreen correctly

While most people slather on sunscreen at the beach, all too often they are not using enough to really protect the skin, or they neglect to reapply after a certain period. First of all, in order for sunscreen to be able to protect your skin, you have to make sure that every inch of skin is covered, including the frequently forgotten areas like the ears and exposed areas of the scalp. It would be better to apply it while naked so that even areas that are typically covered with your swimsuit can also be included. Second, it should be applied about 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun in order to give it time to be absorbed. Third, be generous in applying: for the average adult, an ounce of sunscreen (which is about one shot glass full) should be used per application. And finally, be punctual about reapplying. You need to go through steps 1 to 3 every two hours, or sooner than that if you have swum and rubbed off with a towel. Of course, sunscreen use is by no means limited to the poolside or at the beach; protect your skin whenever you have outdoor activities.

Keep yourself well-hydrated

An adequate fluid intake helps the body maintain the core temperature so make sure you ingest a lot of fluids.  You can hydrate by drinking water and fruits but be careful about diuretics like caffeine (tea, soda, iced coffee drinks) which can actually cause your kidneys to flush out more water. You should be consuming between 2-4 liters of water a day, even more so in hot weather, which works out to about a glass of water every waking hour.

At the end of the day, right before you tumble into your comfortable memory foam mattress UK for a good night’s rest, put on some aftersun lotion or gel to help your skin recover faster from being out in the sun.

 

 

About the author

Amber Russell