Sun Exposure - Dos & Don’ts
It is important to remember that even when the sun is not shining brightly up to 80% of the sun’s ray’s can still pass through the cloud cover. Therefore you still need to protect your skin. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you stay safe...

  • Expose yourself to the sun gradually until a good base tan is developed.
  • Sunbathe for a maximum of 30 minutes on the first day, adding 5 or 10 minutes each day.
  • Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activity when the sun is at it’s its strongest – between the hours of 11am and 3pm.
  • Use an after-sun lotion. This moisturizes the skin and helps keep your tan for longer.
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs after sunbathing to prevent further exposure.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Inspect moles and freckles monthly, noting any changes. If you notice any, inform your GP.
  • Use Aloe Vera 100% gel – it has a cool and soothing effect on hot skin and sunburn.
  • Expose pale skin without a sunscreen of at least SPF 15.
  • Expose your skin further until it has healed if you have sunburn.
  • Use butter or petroleum-based suntan lotions - they encourage sunburn.
  • Go out in the sun without sunglasses that give UVA and UVB protection, or you risk developing cataracts.
  • Expose babies under the age of six months to any amount of UV rays as their skin is more sensitive to the sun.
Choosing the right sunblock
  • The sunblock creams on the market work in different ways to protect us against the rays of the sun. They have either a chemical or a physical filter, but may also have a mixture of the two.
  • The chemical sun filter consists of ingredients that act by penetrating the skin and absorbing the sun’s rays so that they don’t reach down into the lower layers of skin and cause damage.
  • The physical filter, on the other hand, lays a thin membrane on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays back. A physical filter is often slightly coloured, such as zinc oxide, which is white.
  • For those who have a tendency towards an allergy to the ingredients of sunblock, it is best to choose the physical filter.
  • - Sunblock has an expiry date and may not work after this has passed. They usually have a shelf life of 2-3 years.
    - Apply sunblock 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun as it takes a short time for it to sink into the skin and work.
    - Being kept in the sun can affect the active ingredients of sunblock. It should be kept cool and shaded.