It may be perfect weather for a day at the beach, but the sun can do a lot of damage to the skin. This is where SPF (sun protection factor) skin care is essential.
Even when it’s overcast, UV (ultraviolet) rays can still penetrate the atmosphere. If you think you’ll be safe spending the whole day on the beach on a cloudy day, you’re wrong. Always apply sunscreen if you’re going out. If you go swimming, you need to reapply every time you get out of the water.
It’s important to wear sunscreen every day, even if you have no outdoor plans. It protects skin from the sun and helps prevent the development of wrinkles, irregular colouring, and sagging skin – and most importantly, skin cancer.
Here are our top picks, available from most pharmacies.
Banana Boat Simply Protect Sport SPF 50
If you’re planning a day at the beach, this is an excellent choice because it’s a spray-on, and can be absorbed easily by the skin. Even better, it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, which has been found to bleach coral in the long term.
Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50
If you have sensitive skin, this might be a good formula to try. If it’s gentle enough for a baby, it should be gentle enough for you. It also comes in lotion and spray versions.
A beach day can be great! But if you don't wear sunscreen, you might end up regretting it.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70
This is a good option as it is light and absorbs quickly. It doesn’t contain fragrance and should be good for sensitive skin.
Cancer Council Sport Sunscreen SPF 50
This comes in a tube or a pump bottle, and is an affordable choice if you’re looking for sunscreen that works for both your face and body. It’s developed by the leading cancer charity in Australia – a country that knows a lot about the sun. It’s moisturising and a little goes a long way. But you have to rub it in well.
What should you do if you get sunburned? First things first: get out of the sun, and cool the skin with a cold flannel or cool shower. Most people say to apply an aloe vera gel, which soothes the skin. But a lot of them use alcohol as a preservative, which actually dries out your skin. If you can’t find pure aloe, in order to prevent your skin from further drying and peeling, it’s best to apply the gel over a body moisturiser. We recommend a combination of Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel and CeraVe Moisturising Lotion.
If you have an aloe vera plant at home, ask your parents for permission to carefully cut off a leaf. Trim off the spikes along the edge, and slice the leaf in half to get the gel inside and rub it gently on the affected area. It’ll be a little bit slimy, but it does the trick.
Another trick we recently learned is to use Sudocrem. Although it is designed for nappy rash, it is excellent for soothing sunburn too. Apply it alongside a moisturising lotion.