In honour of sun awareness week 2015, we thought it only fitting to put together a basic go-to guide to sun protection for the summer months. It’s no secret that many of us would love to secure a healthy glowing tan as soon as we possibly can, but the real secret lies in how to stay safe in the process.
We’ve all been through it – a scorched shoulder here, a blistered back there. It’s all too easy to sit out enjoying the sunshine and forget about applying, or even reapplying sun cream, but thanks to BeautyExpert’s top sun protection tips you’ll be well in the know every time!
1. Get the sun protection factor
Choosing the right SPF for you is essential to keeping your skin healthy over the summer months. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a low SPF sun cream will fix you up with an instant tan – for optimum results use sun screen with an SPF of 30 or higher, like NUXE Sun Emulsion SPF 30. The higher the SPF, the fewer UV rays will reach your skin, and if your skin is especially pale or sensitive to the sun then the higher the better – try the Jurlique Sun Specialist SPF40 High Protection Cream. But don’t worry; you can still tan with a high SPF sun screen!
Remember to pick a broad-spectrum sun cream that protects against both UVA rays and UVB rays – whilst aging UVA rays are more prevalent, burning UVB rays are more intense, and both can have major skin damaging effects. Around a shot glass worth of sun cream per application is usually enough to cover exposed areas – apply before you get dressed too so that you don’t miss any spots that could fall under the radar!
2. Reapplication, Reapplication, Reapplication
You’ve chosen your SPF, applied your sun protection, and now you’re ready to hit the sun lounger for the day, right? Wrong. Sun cream will only protect you for around 2 hours at a time, and it’s essential to keep reapplying sun protection all throughout the day. If you’re hitting the pool (or if you’re prone to excess perspiration…) it’s even more important to keep reapplying as you go along – the lobster look is so out this season!
3. Cover your back
And the rest of your body, for that matter. Sure, your skin needs to be on show in order to get a tan, but don’t put your body through the burden the burning sun all day long. Cover up from time to time, giving your skin a break from the force of the sun’s rays, or to provide added protection for the most sensitive parts of your body. The darker the clothing, the more protection it will generally offer, but remember – a piece of clothing isn’t guaranteed to protect your skin. If you can see through the clothing, then UV rays can get through as well.
4. Keep an eye on the time
In order to get the most out of your sun protection, make sure that you apply your sun cream in advance. Allow a good 20 minutes for your sun protection to sink in before you head out into the sun – if not, your skin may not be as protected as possible at first.
If you’re out for the whole day, then make sure you’re aware of when the sun will be at its most intense. Generally, 10am until 4pm will see the strongest sunlight, but if you can’t avoid the sun for this whole time then try to seek out some shade when you can. Even if it starts to cloud over, UV rays can still reach you, so don’t assume that you’re off the hook so easily!
Did you know: If your shadow is shorter than you, then the sun’s rays are especially strong – keep your sun cream handy and be prepared to slap it on at any time!
5. Every little helps
It can be easy to focus on your arms, legs, and other areas of your body that are so obviously exposed to the sun, but you’ll kick yourself if you neglect other areas that could experience damage just as easily. Along with your standard supply of sun cream, shield your eyes with sunglasses, and keep your scalp, ears and neck safe with a protective hat. Trust us – you’ll thank yourself the next day!
Although you shouldn’t replace your standard sun cream with SPF skin care, those with high a SPF included can also help to contribute towards everyday sun protection. Try a daily moisturiser like Eve Lom Daily Protection + SPF 50 to keep you extra safe during the summer months – this multi-action moisturiser helps to hydrate, brighten and firm your skin, and protects against both UVA and UVB rays at the same time!
Follow our top 5 sun protection tips for a healthy glow without the burn. Let us know your sun protection routine in the comments below, on Twitter at @Beauty_Experts or on Instagram @beautyexpertcom. Free delivery worldwide at BeautyExpert.com.