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Sun Awareness Week: Sun protection sunscreen

Using sun protection sunscreen properly

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Without protection, just a few minutes of exposure to UVR each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin from UVA and UVB rays, particularly to fairer skin types.

And the scary thing is that most skin damage is initially hidden and doesn’t become evident until we are older and the damage is already done, a fact which could be contributing to the rising numbers in skin cancer in the UK.

Dermatologists are also attributing part of the rise in skin cancer to the lack of knowledge among younger people despite increased education on the disease in recent decades.


While Cancer Research UK say people don’t apply as much sun protection sunscreen as they need to. If you don’t apply enough, you won’t get the protection that is claimed on the bottle. As part of Sun Awareness Week, here are tips on

How to apply sun protection sunscreen correctly

Be liberal with your sunscreen. Make sure you cover all exposed skin, including the tops of feet, ears and the back of the neck.

The SunSmart campaign recommends that you:

  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more.
  • Choose a sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum”, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a star rating of four or five stars.
  • Apply sunscreen to clean, dry skin.
  • Use around two teaspoons of suncream to cover your head, arms and neck.
  • Use at least two tablespoons of sunscream to cover all your exposed skin, if you’re wearing a swimsuit.
  • Re-apply sunscreen regularly (at least every two hours) as it can come off through washing, rubbing or sweating.
  • Re-apply sunscreen after going in the water, even if it’s labelled waterproof.
  • Use sunscreen along with clothing and staying in the shade to avoid getting caught out by sunburn.
  • Don’t be tempted to spend longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.
  • Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your sunscreen, and don’t use it if it has expired

 

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