Healthy Habits: Summer Suncare
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Today’s #HealthyHabit is all about the importance of protecting and looking after your skin in the sun.

Looking after your skin by wearing SPF is essential all year round, but it is important to be extra vigilant in the warmer summer months. UV rays can cause severe sun damage to the skin, premature aging of the skin, and of course – skin cancer.

Make it part of your daily routine to apply an SPF first thing in the morning, and reapply throughout the day if you are in the sun/in water. It’s easy to forget to reapply after your kids jump into the sea, but even on an overcast day those harmful rays are still there and can be very damaging to their sensitive skin.

Other ways to protect yourself in the sun are wearing a sun hat, sunglasses to protect the eyes and protective clothing if you are in direct sunlight.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. 9 out of every 10 cases are caused by UV rays from the sun or sunbeds.

Over exposure to UV rays, which leads to tanning, redness or burning of the skin, causes damage to skin cells. While much of this damage is repaired, some remains and can lead to skin cancer later in life.

Reduce your risk by following the 5 steps of the SunSmart Code.

The SunSmart Code

1. Seek Shade
Shade can provide 75% protection against UV rays. Please be aware that car windows do not provide UV protection and it is possible to burn through glass.

2. Slip on some Clothes
Clothing gives extremely effective protection from UV light. Some fabric is better than others at delivering protection, such as shirts (with collar and ¾ length sleeve) or trousers (similarly with ¾ length) made of cotton or linen.

3. Slap on a hat
A hat with a broad brim (6 inches) is preferable. Baseball hats are not suitable as they do not cover the ears and the back of the neck.

4. Wear Sunglasses
UV exposure may cause eye irritation and chronic exposure can cause cataracts and cancer of the eye. Both adults and children need to wear sunglasses with an EU rating.

5. Sunscreen
Sunscreen is an essential part of the SunSmart code. Look out for the following when purchasing and using sunscreen:

  • A ‘broad-spectrum’ sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB (always check for the UVA logo on the bottle)
  • SPF 30 or 50
  • Check the products use-by date and store it below 30°C
  • Choose a water-resistant type if sweating or you intend to swim
  • If in doubt seek the advice of your StayWell Pharmacist who can recommended a sunscreen to suit your needs

StayWell Pharmacy stock a great range of SPF options for you and your kids, for sensitive skin and otherwise.