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Updated 28 March 2014

Thirteen summer safety tips

You know that the sun is dangerous and that you need to take precautions. But it's a schlep to go through the whole sunscreen routine at the beach, right? Not really.

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Summer time and the burning is easy. You know that the sun is dangerous and that you need to take precautions. But it's a schlep to go through the whole sunscreen routine at the beach, right? Not really.

Here are a few tips:

  • Self-tan: Treat yourself to a nifty fake tan. That way you won't feel like a white whale when everyone else fries. Just remember that you need real sunscreen too.
  • Once more, with effort: If you swim, sweat or towel off, you need to reapply your sunscreen. It's also a good idea to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
  • Pucker up: Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Check the bottle: If you're on medication, check whether it makes you photosensitive. If in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Slap on sunscreen: Put on plenty, at least half an hour before going outside. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Wear sunscreen in all seasons, even on overcast days.
  • Be terminally cool: Invest in a good pair of sunglasses. Check that they block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Get a hat: A huge straw affair or a classic Panama say as much about your sense of self-preservation as your sense of style. Pair it with a long-sleeved linen garment.
  • Know your SPF: Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) that's best for your skin type and intended time in the sun. Remember that dark skin can burn, too.
  • Not just on your nose: Apply it to your ears, hands, feet, neck, the backs of arms and everywhere else that catches the sun without you realising it.
  • Run for cover: If your shadow is shorter than you are, you're vulnerable to sunburn. Plan your outdoor activities for before 10am or after 4pm.
  • Don't be fooled by reflection: The sun's harmful rays reflect off water, sand, snow and concrete. Apply sunscreen even when you're under a beach umbrella.
  • Moisturise: Moisturisers with vitamin E and aloe can help replenish lost moisture. Ask a friend to help.

 - (Health24, updated January 2009)

 

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