Come rain or shine: The expert guide to staying UV safe this summer

With so much to do and see this summer, we’ve teamed up with Boots Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor to give us her advice on UV rays and how to stay safe in the sun during your break, whatever the weather

Boots Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor
Boots Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor
Around three tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body
Around three tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body
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Boots Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor
Boots Suncare Expert, Clare O’Connor
Around three tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body
Around three tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body

Don’t be fooled by the clouds
Research by ICM has revealed almost a quarter of Brits (22 per cent) only wear sun cream when on a summer holiday abroad – but UV protection still matters in the UK. Did you know that more than 90 per cent of UV can penetrate through clouds? So even if it’s overcast on your summer holiday break, you need to think about sun protection. UV rays are reflected in shaded spots too, so remember to keep your sun protection topped up throughout the day even if you’re a shade-seeker.

Think about how little ones move
Children can be more susceptible to burning because they are more exposed by the way they play. While rushing around on cycles or climbing the canopies in Aerial Adventure, children can expose their skin for longer periods of time and will require more robust sun care protection and application. You can try all-day protection, such as the Boots Soltan Kids Once 8 Hour Spray, which you apply in the morning safe in the knowledge it will keep your little ones protected for the day.

Use the three tablespoon rule
A good sun cream is only as good as its application. In fact, only with the correct application can you achieve the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) reflected on a bottle of sun cream. My advice is to always use the three tablespoon rule. Around three tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body and get the right protection, per application. Also think of your skin as a sponge that needs constant ‘topping up’ to keep it moisturised. You should re-apply at least every two hours, and more frequently if you are in and out of water or exercising.

Get smart with your swimwear
If your little ones are water babies you may want to look at swimwear that includes UV protection. You may not know it, but UV can travel through the first few inches of water, so investing in swimwear that offers protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays gives protection between sun cream applications. Keep playtime the main focus of the day and allow them to splash, swim, and dive safe in the knowledge that their skin is protected. Take a look here for family watersports activities you can enjoy on your Center Parcs summer break.

A wet t-shirt won’t give protection
Indeed, covering up with a t-shirt will help to keep you protected from the sun’s rays; when cotton is dry it provides an SPF of around 10. But if it gets wet this decreases by more than half to an SPF of just three. So for best protection, dry off and apply a water-resistant sun cream such as Boots Soltan Kids Hypoallergenic Moisturising Suncare Lotion SPF50+. This extra water resistant sun lotion is specially formulated for vulnerable and sensitive skin.

Get shady this summer
A study by Essilor (a leading producer of ophthalmic lenses and optical equipment) last year revealed that your eyes are up to 10 times more sensitive to UV damage than your skin, so it’s important to protect your eyes even on cloudy days. Furthermore, children’s eyes are more susceptible to sun damage due to their larger pupils and clearer lenses. Did you know that up to 80 per cent of the eye’s lifetime exposure to UV light is reached before the age of 18?

Sunglasses are a vital part of your sun protection routine for the whole family. Just make sure to look for sunglasses that have 100 per cent UV protection, which is shown with a CE mark on the lens or a sticker indicating that the glasses offer a safe level of sun protection. At Boots Opticians for example all pairs of sunglasses meet the EU standards for UV protection.

That’s all from me! Follow these tips to ensure you and your family enjoy quality time together this summer holiday, without worrying about sun damage.

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Amy Dickson

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Amy Dickson

As Brand Content Manager I plan, create and curate the best articles, photos, videos and music for our channels, in particular the blog. With a degree in Journalism under my belt and many years’ experience in the big smoke as a journalist and editor, my focus is firmly on discovering the little gems hidden away in Center Parcs life, before buffing them up to make them sparkle online. From on-village events to the latest travel industry trends, I’ll be there – notepad in hand – to bring you the most entertaining and interesting stories.