But if you have to work in the summer heat, or if you just like to enjoy the sun, then you need to take some basic precautions, just to make sure that you are safe. This may sound boring, but in reality there isn’t a lot to do and it is worth just taking a couple of minutes to protect yourself, rather than spending years regretting your over exposure to the sun.
The first thing to do is to block out the sun’s harmful ultra violet (UV) rays. These are the rays that can cause melanoma, which is actually the most dangerous and most aggressive form of skin cancer. UV rays are broken down into three different types First of all there is UVA. A UVA ray is the one we are most exposed to because they are not blocked out by the ozone layer. These can cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer. They also increase wrinkles on the skin and cause it to look older, so it is well worth blocking these guys out!
The second type of UV ray is the UVB. The ozone layer does impede some of these rays getting onto our skin but experts reckon that increased damage to the ozone layer has resulted in more of these rays getting through; directly to our skin. They are very dangerous because they can cause skin cancer, particularly if children are exposed to them.
Finally, the third type of UV’s is the UVC. These really aren’t too much of a concern, because they are completely blocked out by the ozone, so the only rays that we have to worry about are UVA’s and UVB’s.
Any sunscreen you use, should therefore offer you protection against both UVA and UVB rays. If it doesn’t then please don’t buy it: it will probably be cheap, but it isn’t doing a proper job, so it really isn’t worth the money, no matter how cheap it is! Sunscreens offer you a shield against burning. So if the sun is very hot and you have a tendency to bum after 15 minutes or so, then the SPF of the sunscreen will protect you for x times 15minutes. So if you have a sunscreen with an SPF of 15, then you will theoretically, be covered for 225 minutes (15 minutes x 15 SPF).
Most experts recommend that a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is the minimum you should apply. But when you apply sunscreen, it’s important not just to apply it and then forget about it, you need to apply it thoroughly and then reapply it regularly to make sure that it keeps doing its job! You may choose a sunscreen that is water resistant, but don’t be complacent: this needs to be applied after swimming since no sunscreen is 100% water resistant.