No matter what your skin colour you must protect yourself in the sun. Even on a cloudy day the sun can still be strong without us realising. It is important to have some sun because our skin uses it to produce Vitamin D which gives us healthy bones.
A suntan is a sign that your skin is protecting itself. This means the skin has become damaged. Your tan is your skin producing more pigment from UV radiation and although a tan will fade, damage to the skin is irreversible.
Sunburn is caused from short term over exposure to the sun. Skin becomes very red and painful. After a few days the skin may peel or even blister, usually caused by severe sunburn.
When in the sun, you must keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. If your body becomes overheated – otherwise known as heat stroke, this can lead to vomiting, headache and fainting.
Skin can suffer long term damage such as sagging and wrinkles from UVA rays penetrating deeply into the skin. UV rays can also cause eye damage or cataracts.
Skin cancer is on the increase but can be prevented if extra care is taken to protect the skin in the sun. Some people may be prone to skin cancer more than others. These are usually people with lots of moles, have pale skin and fair or red hair, and have skin that burns easily. People who’s skin has been badly burnt in the past are also a higher risk.
To prevent skin damage, stay out of the sun between the hours of 11.00am and 15.00pm. Try and cover up with long sleeves and trousers and wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face and head. Always wear sunglasses with a UV protection of 100%, to protect your eyes and eyelids.
Apply a sunscreen that is ‘broad spectrum’ to protect skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above. Make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours, and more regularly if swimming.
The suns infrared radiation is the warmth we feel, however we cannot feel UV rays. This means particular care is needed in winter sun when we do not feel over exposed. We can often be deceived into thinking we cannot get sunburn. A good example of this is when skiing. The suns rays reflect off the snow and are very harmful.
Fake tanning products are the best way to create a healthy sun-kissed glow without exposing skin to the sun or sunbeds.
When applied, the lotion creates a brown pigment on the skin. The lotion needs to be applied regularly as dead skin cells fall off and cause the tan to fade.
So be safe and fake it!