When it comes to the sun, we have to protect everything from our skin to our hair to our eyes. Whilst UV rays can be a threat to us all year round, summer is an even more critical time to take extra care when out and about. Be sun savvy this summer and protect the whole family these 5 essentials.
Here’s a complete guide and everything you need to know about choosing the right sun protection:
1) Sun Lotions and After Sun
The first thing you need to consider for any holiday abroad is sun protection for your skin. Sun cream (or body lotion with SPF) should ideally be worn throughout the year even here in the UK but when it comes to travelling to warmer climes, you really need to think about what factor you’re wearing.
Generally the paler your complexion, the higher the factor you will need and these will range from as low as SPF 8 to as high as SPF 80 in hot countries such as India. And if in doubt, always go one factor higher to ensure you get the right protection. But these days, it’s not just SPF you need to look out for. There is now a star rating (from 1 star to 4 stars) that you need to consider too.
- Understanding SPF – the SPF is there to measure the level of protection from UVB rays. Melanin in our skin offers a natural protection from burning. Then the SPF is there to provide the additional cover when your skin’s own defence runs out. The higher the factor, the longer you will be protected.
- Understanding star ratings – the star rating measures the amount of protection you will get from UVA rays. If for instance, a sun cream is designed to block as much UVA as UVB (relatively), it will get the highest 4 star rating.
2) Sunglasses and Eye Protection
In the summer, you also need to think about getting the right levels of protection for your eyes. Our eyes have the ability to absorb light and over time the UV light will cause our eyes to yellow, leading to cataracts and the sun damage can also contribute to problems such as macular degeneration. The great thing about shopping for sunglasses online is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get 100% UV protective lenses.
These Savannah S8122 unisex sunglasses for instance, feature UV 400 lenses (99-100% UVA and UVB) and are only £10.00 online at Select Specs.
In addition to being able to find 100% UV protective sunglasses at every budget, you also have other options such as polarised lenses, mirrored lenses, tinted lenses or photochromatic lenses – which can all help to improve vision whilst wearing sunglasses.
3) Scalp and Hair Protection
One thing that many people don’t think of is scalp and hair protection from the sun. Our scalps are extremely sensitive by nature and can burn very easily. So it’s important to keep your head and hair covered if you are walking around in bright sunlight for hours on end. Different ways of scalp and hair protection include:
- Hats and caps – not only will a hat protect your head from the sun’s harmful rays but a hat with a decent rim will also shade your face from direct sunlight and help to keep you cool.
- Scalp sunscreen – get a specialist scalp suncream and carry in your bag so you can reapply if necessary.
4) UV Protective Clothing
Another option other than sun cream or sun block is UV protective clothing. This should never be used as an alternative solution but should be used in conjunction with creams and lotions, especially if you are holidaying at the beach and getting in and out of the sea.
Being in water can remove layers of sun cream, exposing you to the sun again. For kids, there are various UV protective wet suits and swimwear options so you don’t need to worry about them when they’re splashing about in the pool. There are also a number of brands (including The North Face, Jack Wolfskin, Berghaus, Vaude and Ayacucho) which specialise in adult’s safari gear and holiday gear, all made from UV fabrics.
5) Makeup and Skincare
The final thing to consider is makeup for women or a daily skincare routine for men. If you wear make-up instead of sun lotion on your face all summer, be sure to choose a foundation and powder with a high SPF rating. Or if you moisturise each morning, choose a body lotion that has SPF just in case you do happen to forget your sun cream. Some great makeup brands that offer sun protection include Clinique, Dior, Revlon, Clarins, Neutrogena, Bare Minerals and Bobbi Brown.