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Protecting your skin on holiday

“Many of us go on holiday to get away from the rainy weather and some of our destinations, like the Canary Isles, boast year-round heat”

However, if long days of sunshine are on your agenda in 2014, you need to remember that your skin is not acclimatised to the rays, or the temperatures…

  • Protecting your skin on holiday

    Many of us go on holiday to get away from the rainy weather and some of our destinations, like the Canary Isles, boast year-round heat. However, if long days of sunshine are on your agenda in 2014, you need to remember that your skin is not acclimatised to the rays, or the temperatures. Protecting your body is essential to a happy and healthy trip. So here at Falcon, we’ve put together some of the reasons why you should be wary, plus some tips for a successful sun care regime.

    Protect your skin in the sun

    Be aware of sun damage

    Spending all day lying on the nearest beach or lounging by the pool sounds like heaven for some, or perhaps you prefer sliding down the fastest flumes at the local water park, or trying water sports with your kids. Either way you are likely to be out of doors aplenty, and sunburn is not the only thing you need to be aware of. After years of careful research, dermatologists have reported that sun damage can give us brown or red spots on our skin, wrinkles and, in the worst case scenario, skin cancer. Sunburn occurs because ultraviolet rays damage and kill skin cells. So getting burnt in order to get a tan is not a smart move, since you are literally removing a layer of your skin.

    Choose appropriate sun cream

    If you walk into your local chemist, supermarket or beauty store, there is generally a dizzying display of sun creams claiming to offer different things. There are two major factors you need to take into account when selecting a cream: the SPF number and the ingredients protecting against UVA damage. Scientists classify skin into different types, and those of you with pale skin who only tan lightly need to be particularly aware of the health risks of spending too much time in the sun.

    Choosing an appropriate SPF figure is important and you should use at least SPF 15 on your trip, although those who are very fair are advised to go for higher numbers ranging between 30 and 50. Look at the star ratings on each bottle as well, and go for one with a high star valuation. Sun creams with UVA blockers should contain at least one of the following ingredients: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Look out for these on the label before making your purchase.

    Some products contain chemicals that are more harmful for kids and babies too, so selecting specialised creams for your child can be worthwhile. It is also wise to keep very small babies out of the sunlight altogether.

    Facial care and tanning moisturisers

    Many women find that their foundation is too heavy for holiday wear, or it melts off in the sun anyway. The best way of getting around this is to try a tinted moisturiser or BB cream – these products help to rehydrate the skin, also sometimes providing SPF care.

    In addition, there are plenty of moisturising creams on the market that ensure your skin doesn’t become too dry, and some of these contain tanning ingredients that will help you to build a natural tan if used over the course of several days. Who needs a real tan when you can get an artificial one that benefits your skin and looks perfectly even?

    Avoid peak times

    Protect yourself in the sun with a hat

    The sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm so it’s often best to try and stay out of the rays at these times, or use umbrellas and protective clothing to avoid getting burnt. Buy a hat, take a sarong and wear a t-shirt over your swimsuit if you can.

    Overall, it’s extremely important to take regular breaks from the sun, stay hydrated and top up your sun cream. If you are sensible, you can enjoy a happy and healthy break without suffering from sunburn or sun stroke!

    Do you have tips for staying safe in the sun? Share your ideas with other readers.

    Additional images by Jordan Fischer and Apotek Hjartat used under creative commons licence.

Author: Charlotte Brenner

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