The summer may be coming to an end in some parts of the world, but it’s only just beginning in other places. So whether you’re able to bask in the sun at home, or are soaking up rays while on holiday, remember that skin safety should always come first.
Here are Dr Preema Vig’s sun protection tips.
Cloudy days are no excuse not to wear sun protection as the level of UV radiation is not affected by temperature and UV rays can penetrate through thin cloud. In fact patchy clouds can intensify UV levels because radiation is reflected off the clouds edge and then focuses on the ground.
UVB rays cause burning and UVA rays are the ones that cause ageing and are associated with DNA damage. UVA rays can alter the skin cell DNA, causing malignant melanoma over time.
How sunscreen protects against rays.
The SPF on a bottle of sunscreen tells you the amount of protection from UVB rays and in the U.K. a star rating tells you proportionally how much UVA protection is in a sunscreen. Five stars means an SPF15 will offer the same level of UVB and UVA protection; whereas three stars (the EU standard) tells you that your SPF15 will give you lower UVA protection than UVB.
Look for sunscreens that are labelled ‘broad spectrum’ as only sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays are legally allowed to use this labels.
When it comes to formulas, spray, gel and cream all offer the same protection, and it really comes down to personal preference.
As for when you should slather on protection, Dr Preema advised applying 20 minutes before sun exposure.
This is so it can penetrate the skin. And then reapply every two hours, especially if you’re in and out of the water. Remember to reapply sunscreen as soon as you sweat or swim and every couple of hours.
As seen in Beauty/Sunday World and Secretly Fit