Real Life | Experts say we are not putting on suncream right

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With promises of hot days ahead, many of us are planning to unleash our skin to the sun. However, most of us are being more silly than safe when it comes to skin protection.

With so little sun days, the temptation to bare our skin to the sun is all too great. Sure what harm would a few hours of sun do to our skin, especially when we don’t see it too much?

The answer is a lot. According to a new survey by the British Association of Dermatologists, eight out of ten people fail to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.

The poll found that 80 per cent of us don’t apply sunscreen before going out in the sun and then shortly afterwards. This approach is important as it allows the product to be fully absorbed before the skin is exposed to sun, it helps reduce the chances of areas of skin being missed and ensures a thick enough layer is applied.

The survey also found that 70 per cent of people fail to reapply sunscreen every two hours as recommended.

Skin cancer is now the most common cancers in Ireland with the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) expecting the figure to double by 2040.

Sun protection tips:

  • Spend time in the shade during the sunniest part of the day when the sun is at its strongest, which is usually between 11am and 3pm in the summer months.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and very young children.
  • When it is not possible to stay out of the sun, keeping yourself well covered, with a hat, T-shirt, and sunglasses can give you additional protection.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin. Reapply every two hours and straight after swimming or towelling in order to maintain protection.