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Sun care: are you in the know?

Woman sat smiling on the beach
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Many of us may not have been on holiday in the last 12 months or spent much time in the sun. Perhaps you have a bottle of sunscreen left over in a cupboard from the end of your previous holiday- before you’re tempted to reach for it this summer we’re looking at some of facts behind sun care to help make sure you’re in the know.

Did you know...

Sunscreen goes out of date

Sunscreen has an expiration date of 2-3 years. Make sure you check the expiration date on your bottles regularly; if it has rubbed off it could be a sign that you’ve had it too long. Using sunscreen that has past its expiration date will mean it’s less effective at protecting your skin from the sun and could lead to sun burn and ultimately skin cancer. A good rule of thumb is to throw out any left-over sunscreen every 12 months. Also, having sunscreen left in the bottle can be a sign that you’re not using enough.

Did you know...

How much sunscreen you should use?

Because sunscreen comes in different product types such as sprays, creams etc. it's hard to give an exact amount to use. A good rule is to aim for 6 full teaspoons per application (this is roughly 36g). This should cover the body of an average adult. Applying any less will reduce the protection by as much as two-thirds. Make sure to remember those often-forgotten places like back, neck, temples and ears.

Did you know...

Noon is the hottest time of the day

The sun is at its highest point around noon, giving Earth the most direct sunlight. It's at this point that sunburn can occur in the shortest amount of time spent in the sun. Even though the temperature may not be at it’s hottest at this point in the day, the radiation is at its strongest. From March to October, in the UK, it's advisable to avoid the sun between 11 and 3.

Did you know...

What does SPF stand for?

Sunscreens in the UK are all labelled with an SPF. This acronym means ‘sun protection factor’ and is the level of protection the sunscreen offers you against UVB rays from the sun. SPFs are rated from 2-50+.

Read our sunscreen blog to find the best sunscreen for you. 

Do you know...

Sunscreen isn't just for holidays

It’s easy to assume that if it’s not sunny or we’re not on holiday or on a beach we don’t need sunscreen, but you can get sunburn even on a grey and overcast day. Rather than looking at the temperature or the weather forecast, you should look at the local UV forecast to check if you need to wear sunscreen. If the UV index is 3 or higher you need protection on your skin. Make the most of the shade as much as possible, but be aware that UV rays can reflect off sand, water and concrete while you’re in the shade.

Read our sun safety blog for more tips on staying safe in the sun. 

References

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sunscreen-expire/faq-20057957
www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a26308573/does-sunscreen-expire-tips
www.bad.org.uk/skin-cancer/sunscreen-fact-sheet
www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety
www.sciencing.com/what-is-the-hottest-time-of-the-day-12572821.html
www.patient.info/news-and-features/should-you-wear-sunscreen-even-when-its-cloudy