The summer months have finally arrived which means countless BBQ’s, trips to the beach, a whole lot of ice cream and sitting outside to get the perfect summer tan. The sunshine provides some great health benefits, it makes people generally feel better and it is a great way to increase vitamin D levels in the body. However to much sun exposure is dangerous and there are health risks involved. At this time of year especially, looking after your skin by protecting it from the sun becomes increasingly important.
The immediate harm the sun can cause to the skin is sun burn. This is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. When you get sun burnt the top layer of skin releases a chemical that causes blood vessels to get swollen and leak fluids. The skin feels painful and turns red; if the sun burn is really bad there will be blisters on the skin.
Too much exposure can increase the risk of developing skin cancers. The UV lights enter deep into the skin and damage the cells, these cells can become cancerous. This damage isn’t something that you notice or can feel happening. Spending too much time in the sun can cause your skin to age quickly.
People who are pale, have freckles, have moles, skin related problems, live in a hot country or have a history of family skin cancer are more at risk to developing skin cancer.
There are ways to protect yourself, whilst still enjoying the sunshine. The most common and known way is to wear a sun hat and sunglasses. The second way is by applying sunscreen not only before you leave your house but even whilst you are out and about. This is because sunscreen can easily rub off so it is important you reapply to make sure you’re protected.
There are many sunscreen, creams and lotions available on the market. Sunscreens start from SPF 15 and go up to SPF 50. Whatever SPF you choose it is just as important to re apply. There are then sunscreens that are water resistant which are perfect for when you’re going to the beach or to a pool party. Again it is still very important to re apply as the sunscreen will only last up to an hour or so.
Some of the best sunscreens to use are Soltan Dry Touch Lotion, SPF 50 which is available at Boots for just £6; this is a non-sticky sunscreen that is water resistant, sand resistant and is quick dry.
Nivea sun SPF 50 is another sunscreen that is a popular choice, when it comes to protecting your skin against the sun, this is available from Boots at £7 and is also water resistant and is non-greasy when applied to the skin.
It is very important to stay safe in the sun, using sunscreen before you go out, wearing a sun hat and sun glasses are steps you can take to still enjoy the sun but making sure you are safe. Remember to keep reapplying sunscreen to stay protected.