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How to protect your skin on holiday

by bob.g (follow)
Skin Care (99)      How To (64)      November Competition (10)     
No matter what time of year you plan your holiday, protecting your skin during the trip should still be one of the most important items on your list. Even during the cooler months, direct and prolonged exposure to the sun can still be damaging.

UV radiation, which is the number one cause of skin cancer, can be found in sunlight, regardless of the season. UV rays can affect you all year round, indoors and out depending on the climate. It is vital to take precautionary steps, as well as have routine checks for any early signs of skin cancer.



tenning
Attribution - Flickr


UV Radiation

Ultraviolet rays, also known as UV rays, come in two forms- ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. UVB is the form of UV responsible for sunburns and the creation of basal and squamous cell skin cancers. UVB rays tend to be more prevalent during the summer. UVA rays are constant year-round and, according to Skincancer.org, account for up to 95% of the UV radiation encompassing Earth’s surface. They are weaker than UVB rays, but are able to penetrate glass - unlike their UVB counterpart. This makes skin protection a must, even when engaging in indoor activities.

People with fair skin have less protection from UV rays. Needless to say, people with fair hair and bright eyes are more likely to develop skin cancer than those with a darker complexion. If you burn easier, freckle, or tan poorly- you are at a higher risk.



Sun burn
Attribution - Flickr


Sun Protection Tips

Although the consequences of sun exposure might not be visible right away, it doesn’t mean your skin hasn’t been affected. So, what can you do to protect your skin?

Use sunscreen on a daily basis. Try to find a moisturiser with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher, so that it is easier to work into your routine. Many foundations, moisturisers, and lip balms come with a built-in SPF, and there are plenty of natural, chemical-free alternatives on the market.

Always apply a generous amount of sunscreen approximately 15-30 minutes prior to heading outside, and remember to reapply it every two hours. If you are going to be swimming or sweating, try to reapply sunscreen once every hour.

Depending on the climate, sunscreen should be worn all year round, no matter the weather forecast. UV rays are still present during rain.

Always check the expiration date on your sunscreens. Once expired, they are no longer effective and could cause skin irritation.

Snow, water and sand reflect the sun’s rays and can intensify their strength, causing a higher risk of sunburn. In those cases, choose a higher SPF and try to reapply frequently. If possible, wearing UV protection clothing can help minimise any exposure. Darker clothing blocks more UV rays than lighter coloured materials.



Sun burn
Attribution - Flickr


Early detection is the key in skin cancer prevention. You can find clinics that specialise in early detection programs. These are specifically trained doctors who specialise in skin cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. Visiting a clinic can help you in your sun prevention planning, as consulting a trained physician before travelling can alleviate any questions you may have beforehand.

Use sunglasses that have a 99-100% UV protection rating for the greatest level of protection.

Avoid tanning beds or lamps. These project both UVA and UVB rays.

If you are taking any form of medication, make sure to read the label carefully before exposing yourself to direct sunlight. Some types of medications can actually make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV radiation.

These are our basic tips that can help you protect your skin on a holiday. Make sure to follow these tips and do your best to further educate yourself about skin protection. Whether your perfect holiday includes lounging on a beach, or skiing all day long, you should make sure to always put your health first. What are some of your tips for keeping your skin healthy on a trip?

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