Whether your ideal holiday is lying on the beach, relaxing at home or sight seeing it is important (especially if you are going to hotter climates) to be aware of the sun. You don’t want to spend two or three days of your holiday with sunstroke or sunburn! In some countries it can take as little as 15 minutes to burn your skin, so a good idea is to put your first application of sun cream on when you are getting dressed in the morning.
It is recommended by the NHS that you use a sun cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the better. Go for broad-spectrum sun creams, which protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays; and make sure it hasn’t gone past its shelf life. Most sun creams have a shelf life of two to three years. If you have children, young skin is delicate and very easily damaged by the sun. Use at least a factor 15 and choose a broad-spectrum brand that has a four- or five-star rating. Also choose sun creams that are formulated for children and babies’ skin, as these are less likely to irritate their skin.
We don’t want to put a dampener onto your holiday spirit and we are not recommending that you stay out of the sun completely, but we just want it to be done safely. In fact the body needs sunlight to produce Vitamin D, a highly beneficial compound that has been shown to actively protect against at least 16 different internal cancers, including those of the breast, colon, prostate and pancreas. This is not, however, a license to grill! Hats especially for children, drink plenty of water, regularly reapply your sun cream, particularly after a swim and try and stay out of the midday sun (11am-3pm).
Enjoy your summer!