The sun – the main reason everybody loves to come to Spain. But without the right protection, the sun can be a killer. Everybody must be aware of their skin type and put on the correct cream or lotion in order to prevent sunburn and life threatening problems like skin cancer and skin disorders.
What to apply?
An average adult, who is five and a half feet tall, weighing approximately 11 stone with a 32 inch waist, should apply about one ounce of sunscreen to the uncovered body area. Approximately half a tea spoon of lotion should be applied to the face alone. The lotion should be rubbed evenly all over the skin to protect it properly. Proper application and use are the most important elements when trying to protect the skin.
Sun lotion should be reapplied every two to three hours and research has shown that the best protection is achieved by application 15-30 minutes before exposure, followed by one reapplication 15-30 minutes after the sun exposure begins. Further reapplication is only necessary after activities such as swimming, sweating and rubbing. Most sunscreens today are labelled waterproof but it is still necessary to reapply after contact with water. It is always better to be safe than sorry. In addition, sun lotion needs to be reapplied within two hours in order to remain effective. Not reapplying could even cause more cell damage than not using sunscreen at all, due to the release of extra free radicals from absorbed chemicals.
All sun creams, lotions and oils display a sun protection factor on the bottle. It is very important that the factor is understood. The factor of a sunscreen is the measure of its effectiveness against UV-B (ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn). The factor number indicates the length of time a person can be exposed to the sun. If a person would normally burn after 12 minutes for example in the sun without any sunscreen applied, then by wearing factor 10 lotions they would expect to burn after 120 minutes. With this in mind, a factor 8 would mean that you could potentially lie in the sun for eight times as long as usual. However, everyone is different and all skin types vary so it is down to the individual. It must be remembered that factor numbers reach as high as 50 and a high factor is recommended for kids especially.
In practice, the protection afforded by a particular sunscreen depends on factors such as; skin type, the amount applied and number of times applied, whether a person has been sweating or been swimming and finally the amount of lotion the skin has absorbed before exposure to the sun.
The correct steps must be taken to protect your body as sunburn from UV-B rays can lead to skin cancer and ageing of the skin. Ensure you are aware of these steps and make sure sunscreen is applied at every opportunity.