Protecting your skin in summer

We are not going abroad this year, during the summer holidays we'll be at home. Days out to theme parks or playgrounds, visiting family, and restaurant trips will fill our summer. One thing I'm always aware of though, whether I'm in a different country or not, is to protect mine, and my family's, skin. 

With naturally fair hair and pale skin I'm susceptible to burning if I spend too much time in the sun. As temperatures rise and we have sunnier days more often I trawl the shops to find the best sun cream around. My choice for protection is SPF 50, it's the only one that guarantees I won't get burned. I also use it on my boys, I won't take any risks with their skin.

Protection against the sun's rays

Where my boys are concerned I like to have all the information I can about how to protect their skin. For example I know that the sun has UV (ultraviolet) rays that cause damage but did you know that the amount of UV light present is less about temperature but more about the time of year and how close you are to the equator? The closer you are to the equator, the more UV there is. So if you're holidaying in Cornwall and your friend is in Africa, they are being exposed to more UV. However that doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about UV when at home in the UK. UV light is still present on an overcast day, it can penetrate cloud cover, and it is higher the closer you are to midsummer's day. So even if you think you're safe to go outdoors without sun cream on you should be considering the time of year.

Another thing to consider is the reflection of UV on surfaces like sand, concrete, and even grass. I had no idea those surfaces could reflect UV but they can and when they become wet the amount of UV reflected can double!

Look at all those reflective surfaces!

When applying your sun cream be sure to cover your entire body, but you don't need to use too much cream. Did you know around 3 tablespoons of sun cream is enough to cover your whole body?

While wearing a t-shirt provides UV protection it's only effective when the t-shirt is dry. Once your t-shirt is wet it turns opaque and no longer offers protection from the sun. If you're swimming in your t-shirt thinking you're protected you need a re-think - you'll still need to apply that sun cream.

The effects of the sun are cumulative, if you burn an area of skin it may be more sensitive next year. This has certainly proven true for me, I often burn on my shoulders and just when I think I'm safe and protected they burn again. Now that I'm aware of this I'll be more vigilant in protecting my shoulders.

Did you know that SPF isn't the only thing you should be considering when choosing your sun cream?

The importance of 5★ protection

Damage to your skin is caused by two types of ultraviolet light: UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates deeply and is responsible for ageing. UVB penetrates less deeply but causes sunburn. The SPF on bottles of sun cream shows the level of protection against burning, the higher the SPF the more protection you have. But what about protection against UVA?

The level of UVA protection a sun cream gives is shown by its star rating. All bottles should have a star rating on them somewhere. Check out the Boots Soltan products...

All Boots Soltan products are 5★ rated because they give the highest level of protection against UVA, the sun's rays that cause deeper down damage.

Boots Soltan is the No.1 5★ UVA sun protection brand. With over 75 years of expertise protecting the nation’s skin, Boots Soltan has always been committed to giving you uncompromised sun protection.

I've tried many different brands of sun cream from cheap non-branded to expensive cream. I had some favourites that I found out recently did not protect me very well from UVA rays, their star rating was 3! Boots Soltan is my new favourite sun cream, it protects me against burning AND ageing and will keep my skin nice and pale (as it should be!) throughout summer.

My boys' skin needs protecting too, whether they're in the pool at home or on days out on holiday. Keeping their skin healthy is important and Boots have got me covered. Boots Soltan Kids is SPF 50 and has a 5 star rating, AND it's extra water resistant. It also smells lovely!

We used the Boots Soltan Kids when the boys played in the pool recently. It was easy to apply and the boys were in the pool enjoying the sun in no time. I could let them play secure in the knowledge that their skin was protected.

Soltan can help you choose the best sun cream for you with the online SPF selector tool:

Be sure to stay safe this summer and protect your family's skin.

I was sent a family pack of Boots Soltan Sun protection free of charge in return for this review. All opinions are my own.