Temperatures are rising - tips on staying safe in the sun

Temperatures are rising - tips on staying safe in the sun

We are in the middle of our glorious British summer, so it is the perfect time to remember to keep safe when out in the sun. In this blog, Content Channel Editor Tania talks about ways in which you can protect your skin while enjoying the sun.

With summer finally here, there are more opportunities to spend time outdoors and make the most of the warm weather. Small amounts of regular exposure to the sun – without the skin burning – are beneficial to our health. It helps our body make vitamin D, which keeps our bones, teeth, muscles and immune system healthy. However, you should avoid overexposure.

Why is it important to stay safe in the sun?

The ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damages the DNA (genetic material) in our skin cells. This is the main cause of most skin cancers. The damage can happen from sun exposure over a long period of time or by being exposed to too much sun and getting sunburnt.

Cases of skin cancer have increased in the last 10 years, and skin cancer is now one of the most common cancers in the UK. As we live longer, we spend more time in the sun during our lifetime. And while skin cancer is more common in people over the age of 40, the number of young people developing it is also rising.

 All types of skin are at risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Everyone needs to wear SPF to keep safe in the sun, whether your skin is pale or dark.

Here are some ways you can protect your skin from the sun and help prevent skin cancer:

Stay in the shade during the hottest times of day

  • Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • Try to sit in the shade during this time and even at other times of the day

Cover up

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and long-sleeved tops and trousers to cover up
  • Wear clothing made of cotton or natural fibres that have a close weave. They give more protection against the sun

Use sunscreen

  • Use sun cream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30
  • Choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB, with 4 or 5 stars
  • Follow the instructions on the bottle and re-apply as recommended - particularly after swimming
  • Remember to apply sun cream on and behind your ears
  • Experts say an average-sized adult needs at least 6 to 8 teaspoons of lotion to give the SPF coverage it says on the bottle
  • Regularly check your skin when you are being exposed to the sun and do not let your skin burn

Protect your eyes

  • Always wear sunglasses in strong sunlight
  • While there it is not yet clear proof that overexposure to sunlight causes eye cancer, we know that UV light can cause short and long-term damage to the eyes

When you need to take extra care

Following these tips will help make sure your skin does not burn. But do take extra care if you:

  • have pale skin
  • have freckles or red/fair hair
  • have many moles
  • have a medical condition that causes skin problems
  • have a family history of skin cancer
  • have had a previous diagnosis of skin cancer
  • are undergoing cancer treatment. Certain drugs and treatments can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, including radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Soltan are our Sun Safety partner for 2022. Find out more about this partnership here

We have more information about protecting your skin if you have had skin cancer on our website. You can also order our easy read, Stay healthy – be safe in the sun.


 Image of suncream