Friday, 21 June 2013

Protect your skin from the sun and help cancer research

Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Lotion, around £5. Nivea has been partnering with Cancer Research UK since 2012. Over three years it will contribute over £2M to research by donating part of the profit from products with SPF15+

Today is the first day of summer. I know we had a lousy spring here in the UK and the last thing we thought of grabbing when at the chemist is a bottle of sun lotion. I think the unseasonable weather led to higher sales of cold remedies and hot soups. 

We use Nivea as a family and receiving a sample in the post reminded me that even if the sun is not shining every day, your skin can still be affected. We often forget applying sun lotion before our daughter goes to school because most days start with a grey sky - but the sun has been shining as my daughter is tanned. I have a tan too as I have been cycling to work and gardening. We are both lucky we don't burn - I have an Italian olive skin, my daughter is fairer but has also taken from my English partner so she gets freckly but doesn't burn. Still we should apply sun protection and we usually do, it's just this lousy weather with random sunny intervals that has lulled us in a false sense of security.

The weather and the fact we don't burn easily is no excuse for being slack in the sun protection department. In our 'defence' our daughter wears trousers and no open shoes without socks, but her arms and face are still unprotected. We were so careful when she was a baby and horrified when we saw little ones being exposed to the baking sun, but have lapsed a bit since she started her second year at school. Anyhow, here are Nivea and Cancer Research UK's useful tips for a safe summer... 

Enjoy the sun safely - when it comes out, that is!


  • Mix it up: When the sun is strong, it’s important to use a combination of shade, clothing and at least factor 15 sunscreen with a high star rating to protect yourself – and that’s whether you’re in the UK or abroad.
  • Spend time in the shade: Everyone loves to enjoy a bit of sun during the summer but if it’s strong it’s important to spend some time in the shade as well. Use the shadow rule – if your shadow is shorter than you are, then the sun is strong. In the UK this is most likely to be in the summer between 11am and 3pm. Make sure you take some breaks in the shade, such as eating your lunch inside, sitting under a parasol or resting in your home or hotel room. If you’re on holiday, you could also visit an indoor museum or gallery to cool off and have a rest from the strong sunshine
  • Don’t get caught out at home: The sun can be just as strong in the UK as abroad so it’s not just when you’re on holiday abroad that you need to think about protecting your skin in the sun. And you don’t need to be sunbathing to get sunburn. Plenty of people get sunburn when out and about playing sport, shopping or gardening
  • Bring a bottle: Keep a handy-sized bottle of sunscreen in your handbag (Cancer Research UK recommend at least SPF15+) so that you’ll always have some to hand for parts of the body you can’t cover up with clothes. That way you won’t get caught out on days when you’re out and about and the sun is strong. Make sure you reapply regularly and use a generous amount
  • Use clothing: Wearing a t-shirt and a hat when the sun is strong is really important. There are some really great outfits that not only help keep you protected but keep you cool and look great too. A wide-brimmed hat and kaftan or long-sleeved top or maxi dress will not only keep you covered up but are also the height of summer style!
  • Protect your kids: Young skin is particularly delicate and easily sunburnt. Make sure your children are wearing t-shirts and wide-brimmed hats when out in strong sun and cover any exposed areas with sunscreen.  It’s a good idea to encourage them to alternate their time in the sunshine with breaks in the shade for a game or a cool drink, particularly between 11am and 3pm (in the UK summer) when the sun is usually strongest. If you’re using a buggy, attaching a parasol is a useful way of keeping your children cool and protected from the sunshine

For more sun safety information from Cancer Research UK, visit 

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