Today’s travel tip involves brushing up on our sun safety skills – so that in combination with tech stuff like finding the best travel apps and insider info on how to sleep on a plane, you can stride into your travel plans as confident as a woman floating in the Dead Sea when she lies back to read a newspaper.
And, let’s face it, sun safety is important wherever you are in the world. Even blustery Britain has plenty of stealth sunburn moments, as my instagram account will attest.
And so, this post comes to you in partnership with Soleve, who actually produce a product that helps you deal with sunburn (we’ll talk more about that later.)
But, responsible folk as they are (or else I wouldn’t be working with them) – they also want to drive awareness to stop us all from getting sunburnt in the first place.
Sunburn, as we all well know, contributes to skin cancer, wrinkles and it just plain hurts.
So here are ten tips, with a mix from them and from me, to stop you getting burnt to begin with.
1 – Get into the habit of using suncream as much as you brush your teeth. Apply liberally before you go out under the rays and make sure that the cream you use has a high SPF (+30 or higher) for UVB protection and a minimum of 4 stars for UVA protection. Reapply every 1-2 hours in bright sunshine (OK, that’s where the toothbrush analogy breaks down. But start with the toothbrush habit and work up form there. Applying sunscreen, that is. Not toothpaste. Obviously.)
2 – Pay particular attention when on the sand – it can act as a mirror and increase reflected radiation by up to 17 %.
3 – Try to avoid being out in bright sunlight between the hours of 11 and 3. Think of them as the peak burning hours, not tanning times.
4 – Cover up with clothes but remember that loose weave items and even thin white linen can let the sun’s rays through. Also, from personal experience, pay particular attention to lotioning up the areas around necklines and sleeves – those clothes do slip and slide around quite often during the day.
5 – Clouds are not your friends. According to Soleve, 30-40% of UV will still penetrate through cloud cover. So, still stick with your hat, shades, clothes, cream routine.
6 – Swimming is great for the heart but sloppy for the skin. Or in other words, 85% of suncream protection is gone by the time you’ve emerged from your dip and towelled yourself dry. Reapply. Regularly – as in after every time you get out.
7 – Double down on protecting the kids. Their skin is even more sensitive (and, hopefully, has more years of protection ahead of it.) Hat, cream, clothes and shades (if you can get them to keep them on. And if you can, let me know how you do it, won’t you?! The sunglasses, that is. I don’t actually have issues with the hat, cream and clothes ;-) )
8 – Keep babies under six months old out of direct sunlight. Please do.
9 – Deal with sunburn properly. First of all, keep the burnt skin out of the sun until it has fully recovered. Second of all, review your suncare strategy – something has gone wrong and you need to adapt before it happens again. Thirdly, consider Soleve Sunburn Relief as part of your holiday first aid kit.* Soleve combines the painkiller ibuprofen with rehydrating emollient isopropyl myristate to soothe and rehydrate your sore skin. It’s the only licensed product for sunburn and is available over the counter for over 12s only.
10 – Expect the worst and pack a travel-size bottle of sunscreen in your hand luggage if you’re heading somewhere really hot. Then, should the worst happen and you do actually lose your luggage, you won’t need to add being sunburnt to your list of holiday woes.
And on that cheery note, travel safely and have a lot of fun! ;-)
Do you have any sun safety tips? Share them in the comments below.
*Disclosure – this article is sponsored by Soleve. However, as ever, as always I kept the right to write what I like. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Also, while I do have a medical background, this post obviously can’t count as individual medical advice – so please don’t treat it that way. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns over the ingredients – there are a few circumstances where you shouldn’t use this product.
Abigail King is an award-winning writer and author who swapped a successful career as a hospital doctor for a life on the road. With over 60 countries under her belt, she's worked for Lonely Planet, the BBC, National Geographic Traveller and more. She is passionate about sustainable tourism and was invited to speak on the subject at the EU-China High Level summit at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.Here she writes about food, travel and history and she invites you to pull up a chair and relax. Let's travel more and think more. Welcome!
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