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How to keep safe in the sun

Phoebe Simcock, 3rd Jul 2021
Tags: Life Blog Health and Fitness Summer

Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or hoping for a bit of sun in England, it’s important to look after your mind and body.

The sun is a sneaky customer and won’t hesitate to harm you when you least expect it, so you have to be extra vigilant.

Here’s some tips for safe fun in the sun!

Seek Shade

Finding shade is particularly important between the times of 11am and 3pm, when ultraviolet radiation is at its strongest.

Man in the shade

According to the Cancer Institute NSW, "Making sure you seek quality shade when outdoors can reduce your exposure to UV radiation by up to 75%".  UV radiation is generated by the sun, and when it enters the earth’s atmosphere it can reach our skin and seriously damage it.

A hat is a great way to protect your face, but watch out because indirect UV rays can bounce up off snow, sand, and water too.

Check the UV index

The strength of UV rays is dependent on where you are in the world, the time of year, and the weather. Too much UV can be very harmful for our bodies but, just to make things more complicated, a small amount is good for our production of Vitamin D.

UV rays from the sun

Don’t despair! The Met Office have a UV index forecast so you can check how high the sun exposure is at home or on your next trip, so you can plan accordingly.

Stay hydrated

When we sweat, which can happen in heat, we lose lots of valuable water. Water is needed for each cell in our bodies to work, so keep a water bottle by your side at all times. 

Girl drinking water

I love drinking cold water, so an insulated bottle is essential for me as some can keep water cold for up to 24 hours.

Protective clothing

Let's be honest, large jackets and long trousers are the last thing we want in the blazing heat, so surely more clothes will just make us overheat? I thought that too, until I realised my first beach go-to is usually a maxi dress or a kimono, which both work as protective clothing.

Other ideas could be light shirts, cotton trousers, or jumpsuits. Protective clothing also includes our sunglasses, so keep those shades on.

sunglasses

Mole management

Most moles are harmless, however, UV rays can cause some moles to change shape or size and become very dangerous. The best way to keep an eye on your moles is to take regular pictures of them and monitor changes.

If you are concerned about your moles, speak to your GP and they will advise you.

Sun Cream

No sun cream can provide 100% protection, so make sure you combine it with the other tips above. If your sun cream has UVA in a circle, it means it meets the EU standard. 

Aim for a cream that has a high UVA rating and a Sun Protection Factor or SPF of 15+.

sun cream

The big myth that I want to stamp out right here is ‘Sun cream doesn’t have an expiry date’. It absolutely does, so check out the date on your bottle before using it this summer.

To use sun cream most effectively, spread a large amount evenly all over your face and body. SPF lip balm is also amazingly hydrating and helps to prevent dry and burnt lips.

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