Booking a week away on a tropical island sunning it up and making you the envy of your circle of friends sounds incredible. However, exposing your skin to the powers of the sun can be damaging and can go unnoticed for years, but may result in devastating consequences. So here is a little guide and a mini science lesson that will hopefully be more exciting than Year 9 biology class with Mr Jones.

UV Rays

The sunlight is made up of two kinds of harmful rays known as UVA (Longwave) and UVB (Shortwave). Even though they are different, they are both just as harmful,they both play a huge role in premature skin ageing and suppression of the immune system as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer. However, let us lighten this article up (excuse the pun) and explain how you can protect your skin with a few simple steps.

Using a sunscreen is essential and the SPF (sun protection factor) number which is written on the bottle depicts its ability to deflect the UVB rays. Essentially, the stronger the SFP number then the more likely it is to be effective. For example SPF 15 screens out approximately 93% of the sun’s UVB. Indeed, the Skin Cancer Foundation maintains that SPF’s of 15 or higher are necessary for adequate protection. However, while you’re splashing around in the hotel pool make sure to check that your sunscreen is water resistant. An in-vivo wear resistance test provides evidence on a bottle of sunscreen that compares the initial SPF by the SPF with immersion and will either state 40 minutes or 80 minutes on the label for which the SPF is effective for once you have gone for a swim.

Top tips

  1. Avoid being out in the sun between 10am and 4pm as this is when the sun is at its strongest
  2. Use SPF
  3. Water resistant sunscreen
  4. Wide brimmed sun hat
  5. UV-blocking sunglasses
  6. Sit in the shade
  7. Foundation/BB cream with SPF

– Charlotte Morse, Correspondent (Fashion)