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Sun care: How to safely take advantage of the sunshine

by , 23 December 2013

The sun is shining and the weather is fine. Get out there and have some fun! Not quite as simple as just running outside, read our dos and don'ts for taking care of your skin in the sun.

Because we get so much sunshine, we need to know how to take proper care of ourselves. 
Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer
In South Africa, 20 000 new cases are logged every year. This is a shocking statistic, so why are we not more vigilant when it comes to our own health?
Sun care absolute dos
Use sunblock. Use enough. And use it often. 
An average build person should use a 30 millilitre amount of sunblock every time they apply. 30ml is roughly the amount you can squeeze into a shot glass. That’s quite a lot, but that’s how much you need to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun. 
Wear a long sleeve shirt when you’re out in the full sun during the hottest times of the day. Between 10am and 3pm is when you’re more likely to get severe sunburn. Where possible, avoid direct sunlight during this time to ensure that you’re protecting yourself to the max. 
You need to wear a wide brimmed hat when you’re out in the sun. Luckily for women, these are in fashion and you’re proud to wear a tightly woven bright coloured hat. 
Remember to slop the sunblock onto your children and pets!
Sun care don’ts
Don’t only apply your sunblock when you’re out in the sun. Most sunblock’s need to be applied 30 minutes prior to full sun exposure. Check the label on your favourite brand for their recommendation. 
Don’t forget to reapply sunblock after swimming. Most sunblocks will state that they’re water resistant, but this usually means that they withstand small droplets of water and sweat. You need to reapply sunblock every hour.
Sun care isn’t only for older people. The Cancer Association of South Africa says that many people develop skin cancer around the age of 18 but signs and symptoms only show in later life.
Your skin is important; it covers your entire body. Take care of it
The skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s directly exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Once your skin is damaged, you can no longer go back from there and the effort to protect your skin increases. 
Take the necessary steps to ensure that your skin is kept healthy while you still can. Sun care is NOT a personal choice. 

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