The Sun and Your Skin

My beautiful Mum is in her 50’s and doesn’t have one wrinkle on her face. Why? Because she has always protected her skin from the sun.
I have ridiculously sensitive skin – about a year or two ago, when I went near the sun, my whole face would get this bumpy, itchy, red rash. My doctor said I might have a mild allergy to the suns rays (I thought this was insane..). I had noticed however, that the only time I got this rash was when I hadn’t put an SPF on my face before I went in the sun. Since, I always use a moisturiser in the morning with an SPF of 15-30 and my face certainly thanks me for it!
Even in the colder months, the suns rays are still very much present and it is important that you protect your skin as best you can.
Did you know that overexposure to UV radiation from the sun (or sunbeds) is the main cause of skin cancer? 8 out of 10 melanomas in the UK are linked to being over exposed to UV rays from the sun.
DID YOU KNOW!? You are more at risk of skin cancer if you have:
– Fair skin that burns easily –
– Lots of moles and/or freckles –
– Fair hair –
– Light coloured eyes –
– A family history of skin cancer –
– A history of sunburn –
The last one is really interesting. A history of sunburn is one of the most common causes of skin cancer in the UK – so why do we allow ourselves to get burned?! Sunburn at any age can double the risk of melanoma – getting sunburn once every two years can triple the risk!

Nothing upsets me more than seeing children that have been allowed to be burned by the sun. I believe it is a parents duty to protect every ounce of your child – most importantly, their health!


Here are my 8 top tips on keeping your skin safe in the sun!

1. Educate your children!
If you encourage good habits early on in life, they will grow to protect their skin!

2. Make sure you are dressed for the sun!
Make sure they are dark coloured, made of synthetic fabrics and DRY! 
REMEMBER: if your clothes are wet, their protection can be halved.

3. Wear a hat!
For me – a hat is not something I need as my hair covers my neck, ears and shoulders. If your hair doesn’t, a hat is worth while. Make it fashionable! This one is especially important for kids – but I can understand how much of a challenge it is to get them to keep one on!

Personally, I love this hat from TopShop – it is just £22 and can be found here

4. Stay in the shade!
Unless the structure is thick, it may not eliminate your exposure to the sun, but it does reduce it.

5. Sunbeds are not your friend!
They cause premature ageing of the skin AND UVA induced damage. Sunbeds will make you wrinkle and sag waaaay before your time!
Why not try fake tan instead?!
6. Wear sunglasses!
Your eyes are important and too much sun exposure can cause cataracts. Sunglasses help to prevent this. Your eyelids are also super sensitive as they are not exposed to the sun as much as the rest of your face. Make sure that the sunglasses block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays (they will almost always state this on them), and if they are from the UK – look for the “CE” mark or a UV 400 label. Just because you have picked a dark pair of sunnies, does not mean they are actually blocking the harmful rays – they can cause more pupil dilation and actually let more light in your eyes!
I’m hooked on Primark sunnies – they cost between £1-3 and are amazing!
7. Suncreen!
Now, this is a no brainer – however, I have learned some interesting facts..
Wearing sunscreen to do the gardening, to go for a walk and for general activity in the sun, this can reduce your chance of sunburn. However, if you are intentionally exposing your skin to the sun for long lengths of time – it may give you a false sense of security and encourage you to stay in the sun longer than you normally would.
Be aware and keep covered!
Use a decent factor – a minimum of SPF15 is recommended in the UK and apply it regularly and evenly.
It is recommended that you use around two teaspoons for your head, arms and neck and around two tablespoons for your whole body.
8. Know your skin!
If you have moles – get to know them. You need to keep an eye out for any changes – a change could mean a sign of skin cancer.
Check for ABCD!
Asymmetry – is your mole symmetrical?
Border – are the edges of the mole irregular, blurred or jagged?
Colour – the colour of the mole should be one shade.
Diameter – is the mole wider than 6mm?
If the answer is no to the above – see your GP – better to be safe than sorry!
I hope you have found this useful! Now go out there and be safe!!

To see where I got my information from, and for more information, please visit Cancer Research UK

Disclosure: I am NOT a doctor – all opinions stated in this post are my own. I have researched what I have stated and referenced where relevant. Thank you for reading 🙂