Illustrated by Abigail Dannatt

How to protect your skin over the summer

As someone with fair skin and ginger hair, I have to be very careful when out in the sun, so…

As someone with fair skin and ginger hair, I have to be very careful when out in the sun, so I thought I would share some ways in which I ensure I avoid sunburn and any sun damage from the sun’s harmful rays.

Using sun cream outdoors

I usually have to wear between SPF 30 and 50 suncream to protect myself from the sun’s rays.

My advice is regardless of price or brand, when it comes to sun cream, look on the back of the bottle and search for a UVA star rating – anything with five stars is a good quality sun cream!

Many skincare routines can easily have SPF added to them, for instance, lots of moisturisers and Vitamin C creams or serums have varying levels of SPFs.

Be knowledgeable of what effects your medications have regarding the sun

Being aware of any medications that increase your sensitivity to the sun is a good practice to protect yourself against sunburn.

Some antibiotics and over-the-counter medications can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

It is good to check with your pharmacist, but many antihistamines or anti-inflammatory drugs will do this, therefore if you are unaware, it can be easy to get caught out and burn easier.

Wearing a hat

I have always had to wear a hat throughout my life to protect myself from the sun. As someone with ginger hair, I have always done this to prevent heatstroke as I am particularly susceptible to the sun.

Avoiding the sun at its peak

If, like me, you are especially affected by the sun, it can be a good practice to (if possible) avoid the sun between 10am and 2pm when the sun is most intense.

Seeking out the shade is also a good idea in order to reduce the chance of sunburn.

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