Suncream tips: How to keep yourself protected in UK heatwave

Britons are thoroughly enjoying the recent sunshine and hot weather in recent days and weeks. But the risk of skin damage and even cancer far outweighs taking a chance and not adequately protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. shares some important ways you can protect your skin while still enjoying the glorious weather.

Protection from UV rays is extremely important all year round – just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sun’s rays are not hitting your skin and causing damage.

UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, and they also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow.

How does the Sun cause skin cancer?

Too much UV radiation from the Sun or sunbeds can damage the genetic material (the DNA) in your skin cells.

If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to skin cancer.

Anyone can develop skin cancer, but some people can have a higher risk.

Preventing skin cancer is sadly not always possible. A combination of factors can increase the likelihood you will get it, and sometimes no matter what you do to protect yourself it can still happen.

However, Cancer Research UK has found that “in the UK almost nine in 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunbeds.”

When you need to reapply, you should head inside and apply a fresh coat, then wait half an hour before heading back out into the sun.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended time spent outdoors in the sunshine.

Suncream for children should always be higher than 50 SPF.

During the sun’s strongest hours, it is fine to go outside but regularly move out of the sun and have a break inside or under some shade.

If you feel yourself burning, abandon your sunbathing plans and head inside for the rest of the day.

It is also not true that only the most expensive suncreams will properly protect you from harmful rays – for example, Boots own brand Soltan suncream comes in a range of SPF factors and has a five-star rating – a 200ml bottle of SPF50 is £4.


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