The reason probably stems from me being covered in moles, having spent years as a child with little to no sunscreen on, who knows how damaged my skin is, but it was one of those things, we simply didn't know as much about the sun as we do now.
So, when I spoke to the Boots team at BritMums about their #SummerGoodTimes campaign and care in the sun for both skin and eyes, I really wanted to pass this information on. It is so unbelievably useful and for me, proved there is so much more to just slapping on the suncream or sitting in the shade.
· Wearing a t-shirt provides UV protection but only when it’s dry – once it becomes wet it turns opaque so swimming in a t-shirt offers no protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
· Sand, concrete and even grass all reflect UV but if any of these surfaces become wet the amount reflected can double.
· UV light reflects off surfaces so you will need to think about sun protection even if you are in the shade. This effect is particularly strong in countries like Greece where white buildings are plentiful - so keep your suncream handy!
· Hot baths can dehydrate your skin, leading to faster peeling. Stick to cool showers and use a moisturising body wash to really lock-in your colour.
· The effects of the sun are cumulative, so if you burn an area of skin, it will be more sensitive to burning next year…to achieve an even tan, protection is essential from the first day.
· Around three tablespoons of suncream is enough to cover your whole body. But be careful not to over rub your lotion! If suncream starts to ball up you’ve rubbed too hard so remove any residue and smooth on a new layer – more gently!
· Think of your skin as a sponge that needs constant ‘topping up’ to keep it moisturised. Re-apply suncream at least every 2 hours, and more if you are in and out of water or doing exercise.
· 40% of UV exposure occurs when you’re not in direct sunlight, always ensure you are protected by applying suncream before you leave the house.*
· UV rays bounce off glass screens, so remember while the surface of your smart phone may be small, as you are holding it close to your eyes you are increasing your exposure to this reflection.
· Your eyes are ten times more sensitive to UV damage than your skin, so protecting them both in and out of the water is vitally important.
· Children’s eyes have larger pupils and clearer lenses so are more susceptible to sun damage - 80% of the eye's lifetime exposure to UV light is reached before the age of 18.
· Lenses with darker tints don’t necessarily offer more protection as even glasses with clear lenses can offer UV protection. Dark lenses which don’t offer a sufficient level of UV protection can be more damaging because they cause the eye’s pupils to dilate and let in more light.
· Your eyes need protection from the sun all the time, even on cloudy days. Cloud cover only reduces the amount of UV light by 10%.
· In the morning and evening your eyes can also absorb light from reflective surfaces such as white buildings, wet surfaces and smart phones – even when the sun isn’t out. All Boots Opticians lenses have all round protection from UV on both sides of the lens as standard.
I have a Vitamin D deficiency and part of this isn't helped by the fact that every time I get out in the sun I have factor 30 on. It's a double edged sword really, but I try to get 20 minutes of suncream free sun time a day to ensure I keep it topped up.
I always use makeup that contains sunscreen, I have burnt on my face a few times in the past and so having something I don't need to worry about is important, I hate burning! I kick myself as not only is it painful but so bad for your skin.
How do you stay safe in the sun?