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Sunscreen - Know Your Facts

Sun Safety & Prevention

Do you know your facts about Sunscreen? Which to buy, what
SPF, UVA protection, how much to apply, when to reapply...

Over 80% of all skin cancers are preventable by following
just 5 simple sun safe measures: Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Shade...

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A child’s delicate skin can burn within minutes causing
irreparable damage - learn how to protect them...

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Did you know that the snow reflects up to 80% of sun
burning UV radiation! Learn about winter sun protection...

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Is your child’s school or pre-school Sun Safe?
Make sure children are protected during school hours...

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Do you work outdoors? Is your workplace Sun Safe?
Find out more about Sun Safety in the Workplace...

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Sunscreen, the facts we should all know:

The active ingredients in sunscreens (called UV filters) are classified as either organic or inorganic.
Organic chemicals work by absorbing UV radiation, whereas inorganic chemicals both absorb and scatter the incident UV radiation. Many modern sunscreens contain a mixture of both organic and inorganic UV filters to provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a system used globally to determine how much protection a sunscreen gives when applied to the skin at a thickness of 2mg/cm2. The test measures how much protection against UV radiation the sunscreen provides, e.g. a product providing SPF30 will result in a skin exposure of just one-thirtieth that received by unprotected skin for the same time in the sun.

Sunscreens, in order to be protective, have to be applied liberally to be effective. This includes using it to all exposed areas and regularly reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours and immediately after swimming/towelling.

TOP TIPS FOR BUYING AND APPLYING SUNSCREEN FOR THE BEST PROTECTION

  • Firstly be aware that no sunscreen provides complete protection, so never rely on sunscreen alone to protect your skin - for best protection you should practice all Five S's of Sun Safety.
  • Choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above, preferably water resistant.
  • Make sure it's broad spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (if it has a star rating, use a minimum 4 star).
  • Be aware that the price of sunscreen does not always match the quality.
  • Store in an accessible, cool place and remember to check the expiry date!
  • Try a toddler sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and preferably once again when outdoors.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen. Ideally, the average-sized adult should apply at least a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm, leg, front of body and back of body and at least ½ a tea spoon to the face (including the ears and neck). That is, 35 ml of sunscreen for one full body application. Many people find this quantity just too much, so one trick is to reapply once you are in the sun. Think of applying sunscreen like painting a wall with a textured surface, when two coats is almost always required for satisfactory coverage. In the same way two "coats of sunscreen" may be required for adequate protection.
  • No matter what the sunscreen instructions say, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours when you are outdoors. Sunscreen can be easily wiped or perspired off and you need to keep putting sunscreen on to get the best protection.
  • Always reapply sunscreen immediately after swimming / towelling.

A British Skin survey has revealed that over a third of British men and women are unsure of what an SPF is. People are also confused about the difference between UVA and UVB rays, with
three-quarters of those questioned attributing UVA rays to burning and 77% UVB rays to ageing.
To understand more about UV radiation, our skin and sun protection, please click on the diagram below to enlarge >

Click here to view the common myths about sunscreen and sunbathing >
You may also be interested in the following related topics:

Vitamin D DebateSkin Cancer FactsSunscreen FactsEarly Detection
Sun Safety & Skin Cancer Booklet
Sun Safety & Skin Cancer Booklet
Download all you need to
know in one handy little book
DOWNLOAD NOW
Sunbeds Can Cause Melanoma!
Sunbeds Can Cause Melanoma!
Sunbeds are not safe - fact! Find
out the truth and misconceptions
LEARN MORE
Skin Cancer - The Warning Signs
Skin Cancer - The Warning Signs
Learn how to check your skin and
what you should be looking for...
LEARN MORE
Am I at risk of Skin Cancer
Am I at risk of Skin Cancer
Learn about your skin type level
of associated risk and protection...
LEARN MORE
The Vitamin D Debate
The Vitamin D Debate
Uncertain about Vitamin D and
how much sun we need?
LEARN MORE
Spotlight Topics
Karen’s Story
MELANOMA
Real Life Stories
Karen’s Story
MELANOMA
LEARN MORE

Sun Safe Schools
Sun Safe Schools
National primary school accreditation scheme developed by Skcin to teach children and assist schools and parents on the importance of sun safety
LEARN MORE
Sun Safe Nurseries
Sun Safe Nurseries
National pre-school accreditation scheme developed by Skcin to teach children and assist settings and parents on the importance of sun safety
LEARN MORE
Sun Safe Workplaces
Sun Safe Workplaces
National workplace accreditation scheme developed by Skcin to teach outdoor workers and employers the importance of sun safety
LEARN MORE
Virgin Holidays
Virgin Holidays
Skcin have partnered with Virgin Holidays to target the most difficult ‘at risk’ group of holiday makers and active tan seekers for all year round awareness
LEARN MORE

Articles of interest

Young Brits Disregard Skin Cancer Risks at Home

  News ReleaseAXA PPP healthcare   External CommunicationsPPP houseV...


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