What is SPF?:
Always use a sun cream with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of at least 15 to stay safe in the sun.
SPF is used to measure sunscreen protection against UVB rays which cause sunburn and can also lead to skin cancer. If it takes you 10 minutes to burn, then using a SPF of 15 will theoretically give you 150 minutes of protection, but you should still reapply sunscreen every two hours regardless of which SPF rating you are using. It is advised to buy broad spectrum sunscreen as not only does it protect the skin from harmful UVA rays but also UVB rays as well.
In the UK, UVA protection is based on a star rating system which is numbered from 0 to 5 stars. The higher the number of stars, the better protection it has.
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun and it should be reapplied every two hours.
Water washes off sunscreen and the cool water can make you think you’re not getting burned. The water also reflects the UV rays, which increases your exposure. Even sunscreen which says it is “waterproof” should be reapplied after going in the water.
Children’s Sun Care:
The sun can be even more dangerous for a child’s skin and too much exposure to the sun could increase their risk of skin cancer later in life.
Take special care to apply it to their nose, ears, cheeks and the tops of their feet. Pay particular attention to their shoulders and the back of their neck as these are the most common areas for sunburn. Reapply often throughout the day.
Between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest, it is advised that your child play in the shade – although, if your holiday destination is close to the equator, it is advised to spend longer in shaded areas.
Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday.
Dress your child in loose, baggy clothes. Wearing a floppy hat with a wide brim that will shade their face and neck is also advisable.
Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after your child has been swimming.