Everybody loves the sun - but if you're not careful you could end up regretting basking in those golden rays. While we need a certain amount of sun exposure to make Vitamin D, overdoing it could make us feel unwell and harm our skin. So before you head out into the sun, remember that it's important to avoid making the following mistakes …
1. Not Applying Enough Sunscreen
If you're sunbathing, be sure to reapply your sunscreen frequently. One application won't last you all day, so if you don't bother to put on another application you could easily burn. You should reapply every couple of hours; more often if you go swimming. And make sure not only that you cover all exposed areas, but that you also use enough lotion or spray.
2. Assuming That You Don't Need Any Protection
People with dark or olive skin often assume that they have no need to use sunscreen. While darker skin does make you less likely to burn, it doesn't offer total protection against skin cancer. Be safe and always use sunscreen. Strong sun can also make you dehydrated or even give you heatstroke.
3. Going out during the Hottest Part of the Day
Experts advise that it's best to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm. It may be best to extend that period even further. Be sensible and understand the effect the sun has on you personally. I know that I just can't tolerate it for long, so I stay in the shade and wear a hat when I do have to venture into the sun.
4. Assuming That You Can't Burn
You should never let yourself get to the stage where you get sunburn. It can be painful and even need medical treatment. Even if you've never had sunburn before, don't be complacent. There's always a first time. Look after your skin and your health, and manage your sun exposure sensibly.
5. Thinking Your Clothes Will Protect You
You might think that wearing long sleeves or a t-shirt will protect you from the sun. But the protection that clothes offer varies. Light colors and lightweight fabrics aren't much good. If you can see through the fabric when you hold it up to the light, it's not going to offer much protection. You can actually get special clothing to protect your skin, but darker fabrics with a denser weave will also help.
6. Thinking That a Fake Tan Offers Protection
Some people assume - very wrongly - that a fake tan provides protection against the sun. It doesn't. It's also wrong to believe that a real tan will stop you from burning further. You should always use sunscreen whenever you go out in the sun, so that you're protected against burning and skin damage.
7. That You Can't Burn through Glass or when It's Cloudy
Another mistake you shouldn't make is to assume that you can't burn through glass or on a cloudy day. A high proportion of UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so if you're going to be outdoors for a long period, apply sunscreen, whatever the season or weather. Be especially careful if you're skiing, as the rays reflect off the snow. Also use sunscreen if you're driving or sitting by a window.
Be safe in the sun - don't overdo it, and remember to apply that sunscreen!