For the next seven days, it’s Sun Awareness Week. With good reason – despite all the awareness out there of the dangers of spending too long uncovered in the sun’s rays, nearly half of Brits who’ve taken a foreign holiday have got sunburnt. Even in the not very sunny UK more than a third have been burnt by the sun.
It’s not just downright painful and a lobster-esque look that’s not good: sunburn could lead to skin cancer due to the damage the sun’s UV rays can cause inside our cells.
It’s essential then to know that:
- Of all the sunscreens available in the shops, not one of them is 100 per cent effective at blocking the potentially harmful UV rays. But having said that, always apply a sunscreen with an SPF greater than 15. Above 15 is much better.
- The sun is potentially most damaging for our skin in Britain from 11am to 3pm. Also in the UK, the sun is strong enough to do damage from the end of March until the start of October. That’s even on a day that doesn’t feel warm or when there are clouds around.
- Sunburn just once every other year can cause your risk of a malignant tumour called a melanoma to triple.
- There’s no such thing as a safe tan. Being tanned offers little protection against potential harm to your skin.
- You still need to be careful if you’re driving or sat in a window where the sun is beaming in as UV rays can penetrate through glass.
- Keep suncream in a cool place and be aware that they have best before dates: they don’t last forever.
Have fun in the sun, but remember to look after your skin.