When in Spain… slip, slap, slop

LAST UPDATED: 28 Jul, 2011 @ 08:23
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When in Spain… slip, slap, slop

AS the summer holiday season begins in earnest – thousands of foreigners are once again hitting Spain’s beaches.

But while most are aware of the risks associated with over-exposure to the sun’s rays – many of us are failing to slap on enough protection to limit the harmful effects.

Often this is down to conflicting advice dished out by the experts, leading to uncertainty over what is considered to be adequate protection.

“There’s more confusion about sun protection than anything else,” said dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe

“If you’re pale-skinned and going outdoors in the summer, use SPF30 with UVA protection, and further protect yourself with clothing – especially between 10am and 3pm.”

Harmful rays can be divided into two groups: UVB rays, which cause sunburn and skin cancer, and UVA rays, which lead to premature ageing by damaging the skin.

SPF can be as little as five or as high as 100, although the difference is often minimal – SPF30 offers just four per cent more protection than SPF15, which protects skin from 93 per cent of harmful rays.

The problem is often how much sunscreen we apply.

“Use one teaspoonful each on the face, neck and back of hands,” says Dr Lowe.

“Then one teaspoonful for the front, back, each leg and each arm.”

AND REMEMBER:
Keep sunscreen in a cool place
Do not use cream over two years old.
Shake before applying to mix particles

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