Suncare tips: The 8 rules of applying sun cream

Dr Alex George gives advice on sunburn and suncream

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Suncare is needed every single day, whether you’re out in the park or stuck inside working. However, the majority of people don’t use enough sun cream or pick the right products. chatted to Pharmacist Wendy Lee from Well Pharmacy to find out her top eight suncream rules and what to look out for in sun cream.

The eight rules of applying sun cream

Choose the right SPF

Applying the right sunscreen is important to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

According to Wendy, you should be using a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

She also advised: “Look for sun protection with a UVA rating of 4 or 5 stars.”

Think waterproof

If you are planning to be in and out of the water a lot, then consider buying a sun cream that is completely water-resistant.

Wendy explained: “This means you can enjoy being in the pool or sea safe in the knowledge your skin is protected.”

Apply every two hours

You can’t just slap some sun cream on your skin in the morning and leave it at that.

Wendy said: “You need to remember to reapply your sun cream every two hours.

“If you’re swimming or in water, make sure you top up and reapply your sun protection immediately after.

“Don’t forget that lots of things can also cause the accidental removal of your sun cream; sweating, scrapes and scuffs.

“Therefore, even if you buy ‘once a day’ protection, you should continue to reapply to make sure you and your family stay protected throughout the day.”

Check the date

Did you know that most sun creams have a shelf life of 12-18 months after opening?

Wendy said: “Make sure you check your bottles for the expiry date before you apply and keep them stored away from direct sunlight.”

Sensitive sun protection

If you suffer from sensitive skin, or skin ailments such as eczema, there are sun creams specially formulated to offer protection to sensitive skin.

Wendy said: “Speak to your pharmacist who can recommend a product suitable for your skin and that will offer the right level of protection you need.”

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial and water is the best way to hydrate.

Wendy added: “You can also drink coconut water as an alternative to sports drinks or fruit infused water that has added flavour without the added sugar.

“Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of water – watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes can help keep you hydrated and maintain your health and wellbeing.”

Little ones need protection too

Children have particularly sensitive skin so make sure they wear an SPF of 50 all the time.

Wendy said: “For babies and children under the age of 6 months, it is recommended they remain out of direct sunlight altogether.”

Limit your sun exposure

We all want to be out in the sunshine but limiting your sun exposure is just as important as applying your sun cream.

The sun is at its highest from 11am to 3pm, so if you’re outside, move to a shaded area.

Wendy said: “Think about your clothing as well. Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection and hats, t-shirts and linen shirts are great at providing added protection to the skin but also help you to remain cool.

“However, don’t just rely on your clothes to offer all the protection you need.

“Clothing tends to only offer SPF 15 protection, so sun cream is still a must.”

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