Sun Protection 101

Monday, 27 July 2015
As summer is now finally here I thought it would be fitting to do a post about sun protection.
In the summer I do a lot of outdoor things. I enjoy watching cricket, sitting in a garden/park & this weather is perfect for long walks. All of these things need sun protection. So today I’m going to talk about sun protection for your lips, face & body.

Lip Protection
One part of the body that a lot of people seem to forget about when it comes to sun protection is your lips. I won’t lie I have done this many times then wished I had remembered to put something on them. It’s hard to tell if your lips are damaged as they don’t go red as you would if you burnt the rest of the skin but I find they get a lot drier than usual if I haven’t used any protection.  
Best way to stop this happening to your lips is to use a lip balm with a SPF in. I personally like to use one that is still moisturizing for my lips. My favorite is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula lip balm, this has a SPF 15. You can find lots of brands that do higher SPF’s in lip balms, Nivea have a sun protect but you can always layer the Palmer’s lip balm over the Nivea one for added moisture.

Face Protection
Another part of the body that is over looked quite a lot when it comes to sun care is your face. So many think the SPF in there face creams in enough for the day but it isn’t its ok for the UK weather in the winter but in the summer our faces need more protection. When it comes to protecting my face from the sun I like to use a high factor & stay with this number. My favorite SPF for the face is Roc Soleil Protextion + SPF 50, I find this doesn’t break out my skin & it sinks in very quickly. I use this over my face cream as I don’t find it to be moisturizing but it’s a great face SPF. Another high factor SPF I’ve tried that is a little easier to get hold of but is a little pricier is La Roche-Posay Anthenlios XL SPF 50. I find the La Roche-Posay one to be a little thicker & it really doesn’t sink in as well, considering it costs more I was hoping it would be better but I find that the Roc one is the best. Both face SPF’s have UVA + UVB protection & a UVA star rating of 4.

Body Protection
My biggest advice when it comes to sun protection for your body is to start off with a high factor. Our bodies aren’t in the sun all year round so we aren’t use to it like many other countries so I always recommended to everyone I know to start off with a SPF 50 & work your way down to the factor you are more than likely to use. I suggest going no lower than SPF 15, I only go down to a SPF 20. The reason I suggest starting off with a high factor is mostly because our skin isn’t use to the sun being that strong & it’s better to start off high & go lower then start off with a low factor an burning as your skin isn’t use to the sun or the low protection. I only suggest going lower if you are to get a tan; if you want protection & don’t really care about getting a tan then I suggest staying with a high factor like SPF 50.

I use Malibu SPF 50 spray lotion to start when I’m exposed to the sun. This is a once a day cream but this means nothing really, I still suggest applying this every hour or so instead of every 8 hours which they suggest. If I’m trying to get a tan on holiday I will use this for the first few days but if I’m at home I will use this for the first few weeks on summer then work down to a lower SPF. This sun cream is a spray which I prefer as I find them easier to apply; it’s a thin liquid & sinks into the skin very quickly. This doesn’t have a strong sun cream smell which is nice. This sun cream contains Vitamin E, Aloe Vera & its water resistant (I still recommend apply straight after being in the water) This sun cream has UVA + UVB protection & a star rating of 4.

My go to SPF 30 is by Australian Gold. This claims to be a spray gel but it’s pretty much the same as the Malibu lotion spray. This sun cream contains sunflowers, tea tree & olive fruit oil which provides hydration that enhances the skins ability to achieve more of a tan. This also contains Vitamin E & Aloe Vera. I use this sun cream for a few days as it has no star rating which means it doesn’t protect against UVA + UVB as well as others that would have the star rating. This sun cream has a really nice fruity smell.

My last sun cream is for when I want a tan. This is what I use most of the summer. Hawaiian Tropic is my favorite brand & there Protective Dry Spray oil is the best, I have this in SPF 20 + 10. I don’t really use the 10 unless I’m in the sun for only a little bit & that’s right near the end of summer.  This sun cream is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective sun cream. It’s enriched with coconut which gives it an amazing fruity holiday smell. The oil doesn’t skin in straight away so this is good if you plan to wear it when you’re wearing clothes but if you are in your garden or by a pool this is a great sun cream. This sun cream has UVA + UVB protection & a star rating of 3.

Lastly I always suggest using Aloe Vera gel after being in the sun.

I suggest taking a look at the NHS site on sun protection as well & Skin Cancer Foundation. I would always recommend discussing sun protection further with your GP.

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