Now that we are in the summer months, and holidays beckon, it is time to start thinking about sunscreen even if you are holidaying at home. If you are going to be outdoors at this time even if it is overcast it is important to be protected. Apply a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 – the higher the better. No sunscreen, whether it’s factor 15 or 50, will provide the protection it claims unless it is applied properly. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply sunscreen generously and regularly. Remember just because it's not sunny doesn't mean you can't burn. The UV rays can still pass through the clouds and burn skin just as easily. Don't take any chances! For a wide range of sunscreens and expert advice pop into your local Sam McCauley Chemists and speak to our staff who can advise on the most suitable products for your needs.
Tips for using sunscreen properly
- Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply it regularly. Sunscreen can be easily washed, rubbed or sweated off.
- Even sunscreens that claim to be ‘waterproof’ should be reapplied after going in the water.
- Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to avoiding getting caught out by sunburn.
Tips for protecting children in the sun
- Use sunscreen wisely, Use at least an SPF 15 sunscreen and preferably higher again. Apply to areas that cannot be protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet and backs of hands. Choose sunscreens that are formulated for children and babies' skin. These products are less likely to contain alcohol or fragrances that might irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.
- Apply sunscreen generously and regularly, Put the sunscreen on 15-30 minutes BEFORE the kids go outside, because it doesn't work immediately. After the kids have first gone out, put more sun cream on 30 minutes later. That way you'll be less likely to 'miss a bit' and kids will be better protected. Then make sure you re-apply every few hours.
- Remember you can burn in Ireland, the sun in Ireland is quite capable of burning your child! Take extra care at home as well as abroad.
- Use shade, Keep babies in complete shade: under trees, umbrellas, canopies or indoors. Provide shade for prams and buggies, if possible.
- Cover them up, when outdoors, protect a baby’s skin with loose-fitting clothes, and a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face, neck and ears.
- Wear sunglasses, encourage kids to wear sunglasses (eyes get sun damaged too). The best style is wraparound because they cut out more UV light and also offer a high level of UV protection.
- Find hats they like, encourage children to wear hats with brims, especially if they are not wearing sunglasses. The wider the brim, the more skin will be shaded from the sun.
- Don't forget school times, Remember play times and lunch breaks too. Give children a hat to wear and, if they can't apply sunscreen at school, cover their exposed skin before they go.
If you do burn
Even the most vigilant can get burnt but it's what you do afterwards that matters. Always keep the skin moisturised with an after-sun product as they can soothe and cool the skin whilst replacing the lost moisture. If you or your child get burnt severely talk to your Sam McCauley pharmacist as soon as possible and they can offer advice and solutions to help the skin recover.