Summer goes with sunshine and a tan. Whether you choose to spend your holidays relaxing on the beach or hiking in the mountains, it’s essential – and this applies to both adults and children – to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
Although exposing yourself to the sun has many beneficial effects on the body and mind, such as providing the right amount of vitamin D, reducing stress, improving mood, relaxing the muscles and much more, this needs to be done safely by adequately protecting the skin.
Sun creams, hats and bandanas, lightweight, breathable clothes and sunglasses are all suitable aids for achieving an enviable tan, simultaneously avoiding unpleasant burns that could ruin your holiday and above all cause unpleasant skin ailments even in the more distant future.
With regard to sun creams you first of all need to identify the appropriate protection factor for your skin. We all have our own particular skin phototype and, depending on this, we need to use a cream with specific degree of protection. As a general rule protection factors of between 15 to 25, if correctly applied, are sufficient for protecting most people.
It’s good practice to apply the cream about 15-30 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun. But doing so only once during the day isn’t enough! The ideal frequency of application, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, is approximately every 2 hours and – unless you’re using a waterproof product – after every dip in the water or physical activity.
Choose the lenses carefully! Without the right amount of shielding the sun’s rays can be enemies of your eyes and eyesight. It’s therefore extremely important to choose glasses with lenses able to protect your eyes from at least 99% of UV-A and UV-B rays.
Hats with wide brims or a peak are preferable for protecting your eyes, face and neck as well as your head.
It’s best to go for lightweight, breathable clothing, above all when you’ll be spending a lot of your time outdoors. It’s worth knowing that dark colours generally give more protection than lighter colours, as do dry rather than wet fabrics.
As well as taking all these precautions, during the height of the sun’s strength – between midday and 3 p.m. – it’s advisable or even essential to take shelter in a cool and shady place.