Stay safe in the sunThe weather is warming up, the days are longer and there’s more time to be outside doing all kinds of fun things! But if you’re going to be out in the sun, especially on a hot day, you need to stay safe as it’s important to protect the skin and avoid signs of aging.

Some people get a sunburn faster than others because of their coloring. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored skin, and light-colored eyes, you’ll tend to get a sunburn more quickly than someone with dark eyes and skin. That’s because you have less melanin. Melanin is a chemical in the skin that protects it from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing UV rays. People with darker skin have more melanin, but even if you have dark hair, dark eyes, or darker-toned skin, you can still get a sunburn. It will just take a little bit longer. Sunburns look bad and feel worse. They can cause blisters on your skin. They can keep you inside feeling sore when everyone else is outside having fun. They increase your chance of getting wrinkly when you get older. And worst of all, they can lead to skin cancer. Because getting wrinkles and getting sick don’t happen right away, they can seem like things that could never happen to you. That’s why you need to be careful. You don’t need to hide from the sun completely or wrap up like a mummy to protect yourself.

First of all, put on sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun. I’d recommend to start with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) sun cream (such as SPF30) as using a low SPF could cause your skin  to burn as your body has had no real contact with sunlight over the winter months. Remember you can always reduce the SPF down but my general rule is not to wear a sun cream under SPF15.

Step 2: 

In regards to your face I would recommend that you use a sun cream with SPF30, as this will protect your skin from signs or ageing and dehydration. The lowest SPF you should always use on the face is an SPF20, remember you will still tan.

Step 3: 

Don’t forget that sun cream won’t last all day, no matter if your lounging around at home or out and about so make sure you reapply it regularly so you are completely protected.

Your eyes need protection from ultraviolet rays, too. Always wear sunglasses in the bright sun, and make sure they have a label saying that they block UV rays.

Step 4: 

Pay attention while tanning to make sure that you get a flawless tan, flip from front to back regularly so you can achieve an even tan. Also check that you aren’t burning as if you do later on, you can start to peel and then you will have to start the whole tanning process again.

Step 5: 

At the end of the day wash off all your sun cream. This will help to cool you down and you will start to see that the skin gets darker. I always feel that I can’t notice my tan until I have showered and applied an after sun or a moisturizer containing Aloe Vera.

Step 6: 

Sun cream has a relatively short shelf life so I would recommended replacing this every year so you can guarantee that what you are applying is the correct SPF and that it is actually going to protect you, as a sun cream that had a SPF20 may actually have a lot less SPF in the next year.

The good news is that the sun doesn’t have to be your enemy if you wear your sunscreen, drink your water, and take breaks when you start to feel too hot. And don’t forget your sunglasses. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, they make you look so cool!