Remember the rule – No Hat, No Play? Turns out your primary school teacher was right. Well, almost. It’s so important to protect your skin, the largest organ you’ve got, from the sun’s harmful UV rays, we all know that. But there’s no point slip, slop, slapping if you aren’t doing it correctly. We spoke to The Skin Centre’s principal dermatologist, Dr. Freeman, to get the most up to date advice and top tips for protecting your skin this summer…
1. Apply Sunscreen
Every day – no excuses! Pick from a moisturiser with added SPF or foundation with protection – the market is absolutely saturated with products that’ll do you good.
“Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF factor – ideally SPF 50+, ideally a liposomal sunscreen,” says Dr. Freeman. “But remember, your sunscreen is only as effective as your application – you need to reapply ordinary sunscreens every two to three hours, as most will wear off during this time.”
“As a general guide, you should use around one teaspoon of sunscreen for arms, legs and trunk and half a teaspoon for your face. The gel, liquid or spray sunscreens tend to be lighter and less greasy but they are not as protective. The important thing is to ensure that you’re using a product with a highest SPF count and reapplying it regularly. Whether it’s intended for face or body will not make a difference in terms of sun protection.”
2. Soothe Sunburns
So you’re left looking like a lobster after a long day at the beach? Here’s the solution for you. “The best way to treat sunburn is prevent it altogether, but if that ship has already sailed and you’ve been left red-faced, you can nonetheless ease the pain of the burn. Stop the inflammation with a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel.”
3. Get Out More
It’s all about a fine balance of sun exposure this Summer.
“You also need to expose your skin to a little bit of sun once a week so you get enough Vitamin D,” says Dr. Freeman. “So my recommendation is a short stint (ideally 10 minutes) in the sun once a week between 10am and 2pm without sun protection to the tummy and upper thighs where there is not any significant sun damage.” This ticks the box for Vitamin D. Then protect for the rest of the time.
4. Be Aware Of The Time
Check your weather guide for UV levels every day.
“Be choosy with the time you’re in the sun, avoiding the times UV rays are at their peak. Covering up is also key; a hat and clothing to cover as much as possible will provide a physical barrier against UV rays.”
5. Try Supplements
It’s important to protect yourself from the inside too.
“What many people don’t know is that you can also protect yourself internally from sun damage. New studies have shown that taking Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3) on a daily basis may help repair DNA and support skin health.”