Thursday, 2 June 2011

Keep safe in the sun - Expert advice from Lloydspharmacy

Sun protection is a topic close to my heart so I thought I'd share this press release with you as it contains some very useful advice. My top tip is, when you're on holiday abroad, get your young kids to parade in front of you in the nude (in the hotel room, not by the pool, I hasten to add !) to get their sun cream slapped on. That way, you won't be tempted to avoid the bits that should be covered  but invariably aren't around the edges of swimsuits and under strappy vest tops. If you decide to follow this advice with the grown ups too, that's entirely up to you !!!


Following today’s debate in the news about sunscreen, Lloydspharmacy has issued new research which reveals that sunburn is the biggest health concern for a quarter of Brits when they go on holiday.

So if people are so worried, why do so many still get sunburnt every year?

Lloydspharmacy, which seven years ago introduced the policy of not selling any sunscreen below SPF15, believes that consumers may have adopted a one-size-fits-all approach to sun care. People have heard the message that SPF15 is the minimum required for protection – but they may be wrongly assuming that this factor is suitable for every situation – be it an hour in the garden in the UK or a day on the beach in Turkey. It’s not that simple.

Clare Kerr, sun care expert from Lloydspharmacy explains: “The official guidance on sunscreen levels which recommends a minimum of SPF15 refers to protection whilst in the UK. At the very least those with fairer skin should use factor 30 when in hotter countries. However, no matter where you are it is essential everyone applies sunscreen properly and on a very regular basis. The most ineffective sunscreen stays in the bottle.

“On top of this general guidance, every individual needs to think about their personal situation before spending any time in the sun; the country they’re visiting; the type of skin they have and the time of day and length of time they are likely to be in the sun – and whether they will have children with them. SPF 15 is only really suitable for adults with dark skin or those staying in the UK.

“The best way to be sure you’re choosing the right sun care regime for you and your children is to speak to your pharmacist.”

· Research from Lloydspharmacy shows that:

- over 60 per cent of parents have been sun burnt because they were so focused on protecting their children from the sun

- one in four parents openly admit to paying far more attention to their children’s sun protection than their own, using a much lower factor on themselves and reapplying it less frequently than their children’s

· For children with eczema:

- some sunscreens may aggravate eczema. Check the label for any ingredients that you know your child is allergic to. Test any new sunscreen on a small area before applying it to the whole body. Put on your child’s emollient and steroids first then put the sun protection cream on 30 minutes later. Remember to put more sun protection cream on regularly throughout the day and especially after swimming.

Top tips from Lloydspharmacy on sun cream application:

· A 200ml bottle of sun lotion is enough for three full body applications. So if you’re the 4th in a group, you need to bring your own

· Research shows that many people do not use enough sunscreen to provide adequate protection. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen about half an hour before going out in the sun so that it has time to absorb into your skin and dry

· When applying sunscreen, pay particular attention to the skin near to the edges of clothing, such as straps and necklines, as these areas can easily be missed

· Reapply sunscreen regularly (at least every two to three hours) as it can rub off on towels, sand or after going in the water. Even water-resistant sunscreens should be reapplied after you come out of the water as it can be rubbed off when drying yourself with a towel. Try setting a reminder on your phone!

· Use a stick application with a high SPF for exposed areas, such as your nose, ears and lips because these areas tend to burn more easily

General sun care tips:

· Children and babies need extra protection because their skin is more delicate, especially if they have red hair, pale eyes or freckles. It’s best to use a water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50, and keep babies under six months out of direct sunlight completely

· The nearer the equator you are the stronger the sun

· Be aware of the burning effects of the sun, even in cold climates i.e. skiing or windy coastal areas

· Even if you are in shade you can still get burned, some rays do get through so sitting in the shade is not an excuse to not wear sunscreen

· Too much sun or time on a sunbed causes 80% of skin cancers. Tans are good, cancer isn’t, so get protected or fake it!

· Between 11am and 3pm it’s best to seek the shade because this is when the sun’s rays can do most damage to your skin. So how about a long lunch or a short siesta?

· Always use after sun to put moisture back into your skin after you’ve been in the sun. It’ll keep you looking young!

· The sun’s rays can still burn you when it’s overcast. The sun may not have his hat on, but you should!

· In the UK, when applied correctly, sunscreens with an SPF of 15 and above can provide adequate protection against sunburn, skin damage, premature ageing, wrinkling and skin cancers. As basic rule, those travelling abroad should use at least SPF30

· When purchasing sunglasses, look for a pair that has ultraviolet (UV) filters

· Weather reports that give you the sun index (UV index) will indicate how strong the sun will be at a particular time of day

A guide to choosing the right sunscreen:

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. suncream is getting so expensive these days but it is one of the most ESSENTIAL items to have in summer

  2. Definitely - although I just posted an article about the importance of sunglasses for kids too, which are being neglected apparently :

  3. Its so important to use plenty of suncream for everyone but I can never understand why good suncream is so expensive to buy!


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