UVA rays do more than trigger the melanin that makes us brown. They affect our and especially children's immune system and increases the risk of skin cancer and premature aging. UVB-create the actual red burn on the outer skin layer. About 80% of our lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before age 18 and sun protection from an early age makes all the difference.
As a mum, this worries me, so I asked Holly Grenfell, Oriflame’s skincare expert and member of the Oriflame Skin Expert Panel, for advice.
What kind of sun protection should I pack for the kids?
– A sun cream made for children with both UVA and UVB protection, wide-brimmed hats instead of caps and preferably UV clothing.
Anything special I should keep in mind before they go out?
– Apply sun cream 20 minutes before to give it time to absorb. And use more than you think you need – we often use too little. Remember vulnerable areas like the ears, backs of the hands, knees and hairline.
And when we are outside?
– Avoid staying in the sun for long periods between ten and three o’clock and reapply sun cream every 45 minutes or more often if they swim or perspire. Keep them in the shade as much as possible and dress them in UV clothing, a hat and sunglasses. It takes up to 12 hours for sun injury to show up and what seems like a little redness on the cheeks can get worse after a while.
What should I do if my child gets a sunburn?
– Get them into the shade immediately. Shower in lukewarm or cool water, apply moisturiser and give them lots of fluids. Leave blisters alone and if they cover more than 20% of the body, your child develops a fever or the redness does not fade, consult a dermatologist or a doctor.
Any important points to remember about sun protection?
– UV rays penetrate clouds and we need as much sun protection up north as we do closer to the equator because the days are longer and exposure to UV rays is higher. And make sure you check the best-before date on your sun cream, since it loses effect over time.