Looking After Your Skin During The Summer Months ☀️
Blue skies and sunshine are a very welcome sight but spending time in the sun, even on a cloudy day, exposes the skin to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays), which in excess can cause long term skin damage, such as skin cancer. With over 11,000 cases diagnosed each year, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland.
The sun emits two types of harmful rays that reach our skin: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and can cause wrinkles, premature ageing, long-term skin damage and skin cancer. UVB rays usually affect the outer layers of the skin and are responsible for skin reddening and sunburn. The good news is that there are simple things we can all do to protect against UV rays and keep safe in the sun. We need protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Here at Cara we sell a wide range of suncare products all-year round and we are help you choose the right product for you.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Sunscreen is one of the most common products used to protect us from the sun’s harmful rays. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UV rays. The Irish Cancer Society of Ireland recommends that every person should use sunscreen with a SPF rating of 30 or higher, every day, even if it is cloudy.
The level of UVA protection provided by a sunscreen product can be checked by referring to the star symbols on the pack. Ranging from 0 to 5, this rating indicates the level of protection offered against UVA (compared to UVB). The higher the star rating, the better the protection against UVA rays. The lowest recommended star rating for UVA protection is 4.
Water resistant sunscreen
Water resistance is a measure of how well a product will resist washing off by water. Water resistant sunscreens are designed for normal water activity such as a quick swim in the pool/sea. Extra water resistant products are for more strenuous activities such as extended swimming or water sports. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours and more often if swimming or sweating. Even though some sunscreens are water resistant, that does not mean they are water-proof, therefore they must be reapplied after getting out of the water.
Sunscreen application advice
To help get the best protection from your sunscreen:
• As a general rule, a blob roughly the size of a €2 coin is about enough for one arm – any less and the customer will not get the expected protection from the sunscreen
• Sun protection should be put on before make-up, moisturiser and insect repellent
• Sun protection should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun
• Sunscreen has an expiry after opening the product. The time to expiry will be indicated by symbol on the back of the product packaging
• Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming
• You may want to know how many bottles you will require: a 400ml bottle contains up to 26 applications for a small child or 12 applications for an average adult
No sunscreen can provide 100% protection. It is the last line of defence and should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade. In addition to using sunscreen, these tips will help avoid long-term skin damage or other side-effects of sun exposure.
Guidance for adults includes:
• Drinking lots of water to avoid dehydration
• Spending time in the shade between 11:00 and 15:00
• Covering up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
• Wearing good quality sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
Guidance for babies and young children:
• Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
• Don’t expose young babies less than 6 months to direct sunlight at all
• Children should wear protective clothing and a hat regardless of their age
Stay safe in the sun!