Sun Protection Guide for Holidaymakers
A TNS study into the British holiday market found that around 7 in 10 Britons go away on holiday or take a short break at least once a year, with 44 per cent of adults travelling overseas once or more each year and 61 per cent choosing to holiday at home. One of the suitcase items that should feature as priority on every holidaymaker’s list is sun cream. It’s likely that you’ve heard of the dangers and health risks associated with a lack of sun protection, but when you intend on travelling to a hotter climate for your holiday, sun protection becomes even more important. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can best protect yourself from the sun when you’re on holiday, as well as how you can deal with the subsequent effects of sun exposure.
Dangers of excessive sun exposure
By exposing your skin to the sun for too long, and in too high a temperature than you’re used to, you run the risk of developing sunburn. Not only is sunburn painful, it can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Although anyone can be affected by skin cancer, you’re more likely to develop it if you have more than one of the following characteristics:
Effective sun protection
- ply sun cream
One of the easiest ways to protect your skin from the sun is the regular application of sun cream. It is recommended that you use sun cream containing both UVA and UVB protection, with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher. If you’re going on holiday to a hotter country then it is wise to use sun cream with an SPF of 30 or more, particularly if you have fair skin that’s prone to burning.
You should ensure that sun cream is applied liberally and often. If you only apply it first thing in the morning then the chances are that after a few hours, your skin will no longer be protected, as a lot of sun cream gets easily removed through swimming, sweating or towel drying.
It is also wise to choose a sun cream product which is tailored to both your skin and your activity. Sun cream comes in a variety of forms, including lotion, spray, gel, stick and cream. You may also find that water-resistant creams help to protect your skin for longer if you intend on doing a lot of swimming. For sportier types, sweatproof sun cream is recommended, while those with sensitive skin should look for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic sun cream.
Make sure you pay extra attention to those often-missed areas, such as lips, ears, neck, feet and hands, as they are often the first to burn in strong heat. You should apply sun cream around 20 minutes before going out into the sun, and reapply every couple of hours, particularly after coming out of the swimming pool.
- ay out of the sun
Whether you’re on holiday or at home, it is important that you take regular breaks from the sun, during the hottest parts of the day. The sun is at its strongest, and therefore most damaging, between the hours of 11am and 3pm, so you should try to stay in the shade or spend time indoors during this time.
You can also look at the length of your shadow to determine whether the sun is at its strongest – if it looks shorter than your height then you should spend some time in the shade. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only get sun damage from beach holidays – the sun’s UV rays get stronger, the higher you go. Which means that if you’re going on a skiing holiday, you should take care to avoid being outside at the hottest time of day.
- Dress wisely
Going on holiday doesn’t have to involve short and t-shirts and skimpy bikinis. If you’re prone to sunburn, you may find that you can help to reduce your risk of sun damage by dressing differently. Long-sleeved t-shirts and long pants in dark colours offer the most protection for your skin.
Treating sun damaged skin
Let us help
Here at The Harley Medical Group, we have been treating sun damaged skin since we began so you can be sure that you’ll receive treatment and advice of the highest standard. If you suffer from sun damaged skin, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our trained skincare experts. They’ll use our Computerised Photo Imaging Skin Analysis to determine the best course of action, taking factors such as age and lifestyle into account. They’ll also be on hand to offer you advice and answer any questions you may have about your skin’s condition and appearance.