As a pale ‘English Rose’ spending all my holidays in Brazil from a young age, I think it is now a natural instinct to protect myself against the sun. But I know that this is not the case for everybody and sometimes the mission to get a tan is more important. With Sun Awareness week still here, I want to make sure we are protecting ourselves properly. A wide brimmed hat and an area of shade are my first defence against ultraviolet rays. I also don’t go out at times when the sun is at its strongest.  Finally, I wear a high factor sunscreen. Seems easy to get right, but is it? morning-uv-rays Here are my top tipsfor choosing your sunscreen and the reasons why:

  • Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and a maximum of SPF 50 no matter what your skin colouring. Experts believe higher factors give us a false sense of security and we spend too long in the sun too long or don’t reapply often enough.

 

  • Remember to apply enough lotion (approx. a shot glass full) and reapply regularly. The sun breaks down the ingredients in sunscreen that protect your skin so once in the morning isn’t enough! Experts recommend reapplying every 90 minutes if in direct sun, or after swimming or heavy sweating. For example, I use up 2 large bottles on my daughter on a week’s holiday. This may seem excessive, but she has never been burnt.

 

  • Look for labels listing UVA and UVB or broad spectrum protection. Ultraviolet A is linked to skin cancer and ultraviolet B causes sunburns, so we need protection against both. Many lotions have been found to be high SPF but lack adequate protection against UVA rays.

 

  • Find products containing oxybenzone and retinyl palminate if you're concerned about potentially toxic chemicals. I feel this is particularly important for our children and I always use child-specific chemical-free sunscreen. It also helps if the bottle looks fun as Amalia then wants to put the lotion on. Not always the case!

 

  • Choose lotions versus spray sunscreens for a more evenly distributed protection. They make it too easy to apply too little or to miss a spot, leaving bare skin exposed to harmful rays. There is also growing concern that these sprays pose serious inhalation risks.

 

  • Keep an eye on our website for a range of chemical free sunscreens for you and your kids, coming soon! Meanwhile I recommend buying from the All Terrain  range and particularly Kidsport for your kids.

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