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Summer is here - don't forget the sunscreen!

As the summer approaches and we are spending more time outdoors it’s good to remember to use a sunscreen when out and about. Its not just for your holiday but also everyday use in the summer sunshine. Sunlight contains two types of potentially harmful UV light. UVA radiation can cause the skin to age prematurely causing brown blemishes, wrinkles and loss of skin tone and elasticity (photo-ageing).

Then there’s UVB, which tends to get more attention, which can cause burning and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. When we think of a sunscreen we tend to just think about preventing sunburn (UVB) but selecting the right sun product can protect against UVA and photo-ageing.

So, when selecting a sunscreen look for one that protects against both UVA and UVB. The SPF (sun protection factor) number relates to the UVB protection – the higher the SPF number, the higher its effectiveness with 50+ generally being the highest you can buy.

To check if it can protect against UVA and skin ageing have a look for a star rating as well. The star rating (below) indicates its effectiveness at reducing UVA. So a five star rating is the best you can get to help reduce UVA (ageing) damage.

Remember to use it on all areas of skin which maybe exposed to sunlight and this includes your feet which often get forgotten! Also, like most products sunscreens have a best before date and it is important that you check this before use as an expired sunscreen can be less effective.

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