Summer, Sunshine & Sunburns

Summer, Sunshine & Sunburns

Many of us take to the outdoors at the first sign of temperatures rising. Spending time outdoors naturally means being more exposed to the sun. Soaking up some sun rays can do wonders for the one's overall being, however too much sunbathing can have negative effects on the skin. Oftentimes, the fun outdoors can lead to painful sunburn and irreversible damage. To avoid this from happening, the use of sunscreens can come in very handy!

During summer, people spend as much time outdoors as possible. The thinning ozone layer and the behaviour around modern leisure have, in recent years, led to the fact that the general burden of UV radiation has increased. Many do not realize that the skin has a memory. Of course, a sunburn heals over time, but the skin remembers everything. Skin of children and adolescents has only slight self-protection, which makes them particularly vulnerable. Every instance of sunburn that occurs during childhood increases the risk of cancer later in their lifetime. It is therefore of utter importance to limit time spent in the sun and take precautions to protect the skin accordingly. Proper clothing, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen should be your constant companions during summer.

Sufficient protection is only guaranteed when sunscreen is applied properly. Experts recommend using two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimetre, so be generous when applying sunscreen to your skin. It is also important to match the sunscreen used to your skin type and choose a sunscreen that will suit the purpose, i.e water-resistant sunscreen when swimming.

The longer you spend time in the sun, the higher the UVA and UVB protection should be. The SPF indicates the effectiveness of UVB filters present in the sunscreen. It indicates how long one is able to be exposed to the sun before a reddening of the skin occurs. For example, one should only be exposed to the sun for five minutes if no sunscreen has been applied to the skin. A sun protection factor of 10 is sufficient for sun exposure for up to fifty minutes. It is of utmost importance to reapply sunscreen, as the effect thereof diminishes with time. The UVA protection should constitute at least one-third of UVB protection. If this is the case, the sunscreen may bear the UVA EU seal.

The most important application tips summarized:

  • UVB protection: The lighter the skin type and the higher the sun intensity, requires higher UVB protection. If in doubt, always choose an SPF that is higher. The UVA labelling guarantees that the UVA protection constitutes at least one-third of the UVB protection.
  • Use water-resistant sunscreens when swimming or spending time in the water. 
  • One can get sunburned by simply sitting in the shade, which is why it is important to apply sunscreen when outdoors. 

Do not forget: sun protection is health protection!