Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap: Protect Your Skin This Summer
Be sun smart this summer by following the golden rules: slip, slop, slap and wrap! By taking extra precaution you can enjoy the warm weather without any burns, sunstrokes, fatigue caused by over-exposure to the rays, or worse. Protect yourself whenever you step outdoors, and don’t be fooled by overcast skies. By sticking to these guidelines you can prevent serious long-term damage to your skin and your health.
Slip on a shirt and into the shade. Clothes of a darker colour and tighter weave will give you better protection from the sun, but if it gets unbearably hot a white linen top will cool you down.
Slop on some broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the number on the bottle represents the fraction of UV radiation that makes it past the product. For example, SPF 30 allows 1/30 of UV light through, and SPF 50 allows 1/50 through the sunscreen. However, the SPF number only indicates protection against UVB rays, so use a broad-spectrum one to defend your skin from UVA rays too.
Our favourite sunscreens are PCA Weightless SPF 45 Sunscreen and Invisible Zinc SPF 50, both of which can be found at Claris Group. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, or right after swimming or excessive sweating.
Slap on a good wide brimmed hat, or a cap with flaps. The face is one of the spots most prone to sunburn so it needs to be given portable shelter. Your scalp needs protection from the sun just as much as the rest of your body, but it can be awkward spraying sunscreen into those hard to reach places! A hat can protect your scalp, ears, nose and even your shoulders, while serving as a stylish summertime accessory that keeps you cool.
Wrap some sunnies over those sensitive eyes and protect them from harmful UV rays, bright light, and blue light, which is the kind of light we associate with intense glares and reflective surfaces. According to the New Zealand Optometrist Association (NZ AO), the cells in the lens of the eyes are never replaced, so once they’re damaged there’s no turning back.
Cheaper sunglasses don’t always have the necessary UVA and UVB blockers, so check the packaging carefully and ask the shop assistant for more information if you can’t find any stickers. Sunglasses are also a must when driving in bright sunlight, as they reduce glare and improve contrast – not to mention they’re fashionable!