There’s been a lot in the news recently about sun protection: Nissan has created a car with 500 UV Protection and even more ground breaking, scientists have developed a new super sun cream that offers unprecedented levels of protection against UVA rays. It will be another four years before this cream goes on sale to the general public, so in the meantime, how can you be sure to stay sun-safe on your holidays? Here are five products that your beach bag shouldn’t be without.
First and foremost, sun cream is the most important item that should be in your beach bag, but what should you look for when reaching for a bottle? It’s all down to the SPF, right? Well actually that’s wrong; the SPF only rates the degree of protection from UVB rays, so even SPF 50 may offer no protection against UVA rays. With UVA rays responsible for causing premature aging and contributing to the development of cancer, you’ll definitely want to check that you’re protected against them. Therefore, be sure to check the bottle for a UV seal or look at the number of stars on the label – the more stars the better protection. If you’re planning on splashing around in the sea, you’ll need a water resistant sun cream.
A sun hat is crucial in reducing the amount of UV rays that reach the face, neck and head and so you should make sure that you pack one for every member of the family. Babies are especially susceptible to UV rays as their skin doesn’t yet produce melanin and with sun cream not recommended for infants under 6 months, a hat is their most important form of sun protection.
A UV Suit
Water-resistant sun cream needs to be reapplied every 40 minutes, so for the best protection from those pesky rays place your kids in a UV suit too. Most high-street stores sell these garments, which block over 97.5% of UV rays. They’re also extremely useful in that they provide extra warmth to fight off those shivers from spending too long in the pool.
Most people put fashion first when selecting their shades, but the sun can be just as damaging to your eyes as it is to your skin. Those damaging UVA rays can pass through the cornea and damage the lens, while UVB rays can cause growths on the white of the eye. Sounds ghastly right? As well as checking that your shades offer the right level of UV protection, you also need to look at the amount of light they let through. This means choosing sunglasses that have as dark a tint as possible. Polarised sunglasses also beat bright glare better than their standard counterparts so are recommended for driving and water sports.
It’s recommended that babies and young children are kept out of the sun for long periods, so for your beach holiday consider investing in a UV sun tent or sun shade to offer little ones the respite they need. Most offer 50+ UPF protection, which blocks 98% of UV radiation from coming through. They also provide parents with privacy for swimsuit changes and feeding, which makes them a god-send on a crowded beach.