1. Cover up
Banwell tells Health and Fitness that the most important tip for looking after your skin this summer is to cover up in the midday sun, wear a hat and wear good quality sunglasses. Getting sunburned will increase your susceptibility to skin cancer in later life and, let’s face it, the lobster is never a good beach look.
2. Get matey with your moles
Look out for new or existing moles that are darkly pigmented, change in colour and/or size, have an irregular outline and itch, bleed or crust. If you are unsure or concerned that you may have one or more of these symptoms, visit your GP.
3. Beware of increased sensitivity to the sun
If you are taking prescription medication, ensure that you check the labels to see if they affect your body’s reaction to the sun and heat, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. It’s also important if you are pregnant to ask your doctor about the potentially harmful effects of the sun and heat.
4. Know your chemical sunscreens from your mineral sunscreens
There are two main types of sun cream: chemical and mineral. The main difference is that chemical sun care products need to be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure while mineral sun creams work right away. That’s because mineral sun creams form a protective barrier on top of the skin while chemical sun creams contain UV filtering ingredients that need to be absorbed.
5. Reapply sunscreen regularly
Apply liberally and evenly every four hours and each time you get out of the water. Don’t forget commonly missed areas like your ears, under your chin and the soles of your feet.
6. Chose a long-lasting sunscreen
For those of you that don’t want to be slapping sun cream on every couple of hours, Banwell recommends Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion as it provides six hours of SPF 30 protection in one application. Its non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and is sweat- and water-resistant.
7. Try a high-tech sunscreen
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Banwell recommends Heliocare Gel Cream Colour SPF 50, which offers advanced protection both on the skin and from within. It is the only UV protection to contain Fernblock Photoimmunoprotection Technology – a plant extract clinically-proven to protect skin from damaging effects of sun exposure.
8. Eat a skin-boosting diet
A good diet with plenty of fruit and veg will boost antioxidant levels in your body to help strengthen skin and will boost your skin’s ability to cope with hot and sunny conditions.
9. Sun creams can’t do it all
While sun creams may stop you from getting burnt, they don’t protect you from all the damaging effects of the sun. Banwell told Health and Fitness that sun creams can encourage people to believe they can sit in the sun all day without risk, but in actual fact they only protect your skin from some types of UV.
10. But don’t hide from the sun completely
While it is really important to make sure that you protect your skin from harmful sun exposure, your body actually needs some direct exposure to the sun. Around 50% of adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D which could be solved by 20-30 mins of sun exposure up to three times a week.
Words by Shelley Portet