How sun-savvy are you? Sirona’s Dermatology service shares their top tips to reduce the dangers of sun exposure.
More than ever, spending time outdoors is important for our mental and physical health. And, in spite of the current stresses and anxieties of coronavirus, we’ve been lucky to have plenty of sunshine over the past few weeks.
Being outdoors doesn’t just improve our mood though – the vitamin D found in sunlight also helps to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. In the summer months, just 15-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure (without skin reddening or burning) will be enough for most people to create the vitamin D they need each day.
Staying safe in the sun
But sun exposure without proper protection can cause a range of problems – from premature ageing and wrinkling of the skin, to more serious consequences like skin cancer.
UK deaths from skin cancer are among the highest in the world (higher than Australia!) but regular use of SPF 30+ sunscreen could reduce rates of skin cancer by as much as 70%.
You can help to protect yourself by following the five S’s of sun safety:
- Slip on a t-shirt
- Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA sunscreen
- Slap on a broad brimmed hat
- Slide on quality sunglasses
- Shade from the sun whenever possible
Know your sunscreen
Your first line of defence against the sun is staying covered, but we shouldn’t avoid sunlight altogether. Used properly, sunscreen lets you catch some rays in a way that’s safe and doesn’t cause harm to your skin.
The key is to plan ahead, and apply an SPF factor 30 or above 20 minutes before heading outside.
You’ll need to apply around 6-8 teaspoons across your whole body – including a teaspoon each for legs, arms, your front and back; and half a teaspoon for face and neck.
And don’t forget to reapply every 2-4 hours – especially after swimming/exercising and towelling off.