RULE 101 of skin care is wearing suncream.
If you don’t smother yourself in a high SPF, then you run the risk of sunburn and eventually skin cancer.
But what if you have got suncream on…and you still burn?
Well, that’s probably down to the fact that you’re getting your suncream regime a little wrong.
We reveal the five common mistakes loads of us make when trying to stay safe in the sun:
1. You haven’t got on a high enough UVA
SPF, or sun protection factor, only measures and blocks UVB rays – the ones that make your skin red.
But you also want to be watching out for UVA rays, which are the main tanning ray.
Suncreams carry UVA stars on their labels, usually ranging from one to four and the protection varies wildly.
UVA rays are actually the most damaging rays from the sun and they’re around all year long – sun or no sun.
They penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB and therefore are the main reason skin ages and gets wrinkly.
Oh, and they also cause skin cancer.
So it’s really, really important that you check the star rating as well as the SPF.
A three-star rating offers between 60-79 per cent protection from UVA, while four stars offers up to 80-89 per cent.
Five-star products can promise up to 100 per cent protection.
If you can’t see stars, look out for the word “broad-spectrum suncream” or UVA/UVB protection – but just be aware that unless products carry star ratings, you won’t know how much protection a product offers.
Try Bioderma Photoderm Mineral spray SPF50+, £11, Feel Unique.
2. You’re sweating
It’s all very well putting on your suncream before you leave the house in the morning but if you then get on a sweaty tube/go for a run/sit roasting in the sun, you could be sweating off all that protection.
You’ve got to reapply if you break into a sweat.
Make sure you have a little pot of suncream in your pocket or bag.
We love Mimitika SPF50 Face Suncream (£17.50, Birchbox) which is small enough to fit into the smallest of bags, it has no horrible white cast and is free from harmful ingredients.
3. The SPF is too low
This is an obvious one but a lot of sunburn comes from simply not using a high enough SPF.
You might think that you’re a bronzed god, but we should all be using hefty numbers – not SPF15s.
Black people and Asian are at risk of skin cancer and burn too, so skin colour really shouldn’t be a barrier to protecting yourself.
The British Skin Foundation recommends using SPF30 or higher, with SPF30 blocking 97 per cent of UBV rays.
4. You’re not using enough suncream
It’s not enough just to put a dot on your nose and a thin line on your arms.
Dr Marko Lens, a skin cancer specialist, told The Sun Online: “The correct amount to be used is one teaspoon for the entire face and neck, and it should be re-applied every two hours if exposed to the sun.
“I always recommend SPF (sun protection factor) 30 broad spectrum sunscreen as it provides high protection against both, UVA and UVB.”
His advice is echoed by Rebecca Bennett, who is a Johnson & Johnson Ltd Skincare Specialist.
Speaking to The Sun Online, she said: “When using lotions, as the bare minimum, you should apply at least six full teaspoons (approximately 36 grams) to cover the body of an average adult.
“This is more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm, and just over one teaspoon to each leg, front of body and back of body.
“This equates to around four 200ml bottles per adult per week.”
5. You’re applying it at the wrong time
If you’re in the sun and rubbing it in, you’ve left it too late (although it’s better than nothing).
It takes around 30 minutes for suncream to be fully absorbed by your skin so give yourself time before you go out to get protected.
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Be sure to give your skin a chance to absorb it before you get dressed too, so that the cream doesn’t get rubbed off.
So, to recap: use lots of it, go for higher SPFs and look out for UVA star ratings.
You can definitely enjoy the sun without getting burnt.
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