This week is National Sun Awareness Week and with summer approaching it is now more important than ever to consider your safety in the sun.
Skin cancer is on the rise and without the proper knowledge of sun protection, the numbers are only increasing. Eye safety and sunglasses are obviously crucial to the cause so for sun awareness week we’ve put together a short guide on how you can be more sun safe…
Skincare and Suncreen
The suns’ ultraviolet rays are extremely harmful to our skin in a number of ways we might not realise. UVA and UVB rays are present in all hours of daylight and can even penetrate cloud cover on dull days and during Winter. For this reason, many dermatologists advise wearing sunscreen all year round to minimize the damage to your skin. The obvious benefits of wearing sunscreen are the prevention of sunburn and skin damage which can prematurely age the skin; however, wearing sunscreen can also help in minimizing your risk of skin cancer which is one of the number one killers in Britain today.
Most sunscreens contain SPF 15 or higher and do an excellent job of protecting from UV Rays. SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’ which is measured on its’ ability to protect the skin and the higher the rating means the better protection you will receive. SPF can also be found in a number of cosmetic products such as face cream and make up.
Basically in theory, this is how it works; If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours. Nothing less than an SPF 30 should always be used on those with extremely pale skin, a genetic history of skin cancer and children whilst children under six months should be kept in the shade and not be exposed to sun at all.
- Opt for a ‘spray on’ sunscreen; it’s less messy and easier to apply
- Kids can use special coloured sun creams which show up which areas are well-covered. Plus it makes applying much more fun
- Always ask for help with those hard to reach places such as your back and shoulders which are prime spots for burning.
- Try to avoid sitting in the sun between 11AM and 2PM which is when the sun is at its’ highest in the sky and its’ hottest.
- If you’re not tanning, stay in the shade with a parasol. It may also be an idea to wear a hat to prevent your scalp burning and your hair dying out
- Never use sun-cream which is out of date or if the packaging is damaged.
- Remember to top up and apply every couple of hours and after you’ve been swimming. Even water-resistant sunscreen can fade.
- Always keep an eye on moles, blemishes, birth marks or damaged patches of skin. You can learn how to check for skin cancer and melanoma’s HERE
Dealing With Sunburn
Whilst it’s not just pasty folk who need to be careful; those with extremely pale Caucasian skin, freckly skin and fair or red hair are more vulnerable to sunburn. In fact freckles are directly linked to sun exposure and are a light form of sun-damage which makes protecting yourself all the more important.
Research carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists showed that many people felt that sunburn was just a harmful process in the skin tanning when in actual fact, sunburn can notably increase the likelihood of skin cancers and deadly melanoma’s whilst also causing potentially irreversible damage to your skin.
If you do experience sunburn, it is advised that you apply a cooling After-Sun solution and stay out of the sun for the next few days to avoid further damage. Eventually the burn will fade, the damaged skin will peel and you can reconsider your skin-care regime!
Sure, your skin is incredibly important but what about your eye health? Sunglasses weren’t just invented to fashion alone; their purpose at their core is to protect your eyes from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. This is why it is important to remember that fake glasses are a big no-no and a risk to your health. The soft tissues in the eyes leave us extremely vulnerable to conditions such as skin cancer of the eyelid, Photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea), cataracts and macula (the most sensitive part of the eye) degeneration.
In a blog on eye-safety we ran in 2014 explains;
“At least 98.7% of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the earth’s surface is UVA, and occurs up to 400nm.”
“Most sunglasses only provide protection up to the 380nm”
The aim of sunglasses is to reduce the light radiation and glare from the sun; not only to give clearer vision in bright conditions but to minimise the risk of damaging your eyes.’
All glasses we sell here at B Sunglasses are from authorized manufacturers and have been engineered to meet the European safety requirements for all eyewear sold. Y
Similarly, our glasses are also well equipped with a range of sun-safe lenses designed to block out UVA and UVB rays with a innovative range of lens technologies. The filter categories on your sunglasses are important to consider as they determine the ‘darkness’ of your lenses. Graded from 1-4, 1 is the lightest category whilst 4 is the darkest. Although a Category 4 lens does not necessarily make it more powerful or effective, a darker lens may be preferred to give comfort when worn in harsh sunlight.
The style of your sunglasses is also helpful in protection. Oversize and wraparound styles give considerably more coverage and are perfect for sports such as running, cycling or golfing where you are outside for prolonged periods of time.
• A CE mark will confirm that the sunglasses have been approved by the European Community Standard.
• The best sunglass’ brands will block out 100% of UV-A, UV-B and harmful blue light.
• Polarised lenses or lenses with anti-reflective coatings reduce reflective glare from water and land surfaces. These are best for clarity in bright or hazy driving conditions.
• Watch out for pairs which offer 80% light reduction. This is offered with most sunglasses but these are the sunglasses you’ll want to buy!