Do you wear sun cream everyday? Do you know what SPF means or what kind of sun cream you should be putting on your skin?  Recently I attended a “Sun Smart” event  and was shocked  to hear that skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. 

Yes, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland but it is also one of the most preventable cancers. Over 10,000 new cases are diagnosed in this country every year. Most cases are caused by ultra violet rays from the sun.  These figures are staggering but they can be prevented if you protect you and your families skin from the sun.

When we plan a foreign holiday we go to great lengths buying new clothes, sandals, swim wear and sun cream. Each morning on our holidays we apply sun cream and pop it into the beach bag so we can top up as required throughout the day. Sadly for most of us when the holidays are over the sun cream is forgotten about.

Most people believe you don’t need sun cream in Ireland when its cloudy.  Unfortunately thinking like this is a big mistake.  It is on cloudy days   we need the sun cream even more. Cloud does not absorb UV very well, and neither does rain. If the cloud is low it will reduce the UV, but you can still get burnt.

sun hat

So what does SPF stand for? SPF = Sun Protection Factor and refers to the theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned.


For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection.  So if your skin normally begins to burn after 10 minutes in full sun without any protection,  a 30 SPF sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen. That means it will take 30 times longer before you start to burn, or in this case, 300 minutes.  


suncream--zThe best sun cream  is the one you will use again and again. Just make sure it offers broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant. The kind of sun cream you use is a matter of personal choice, and may vary depending on the area of the body to be protected. A lot of daily moisturisers have SPF in them so check your creams and see how much protection you are getting by just applying your daily moisturiser.

I love the sun more than anybody but we should all avoid excessive sun and you can be sun smart by doing the following:top ten.jpg

  1. Stay in the shade between 11 am and 2pm.
  2. Cover up by wearing a T-Shirt with a collar and sleeves and a sun hat that gives shade to the face, neck, head and ears.
  3. Wear sunglasses that have UV protection.
  4. Wear sunscreen everyday in all weather throughout the year with minimum SPF 15+ (SPF 30+ for children).
  5. Apply sun cream 15 minutes before going outside
  6. Check your skin regularly so you notice any changes or new growths.
  7. Choose cosmetics and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
  8. If you’re a parent, protect your child’s skin and practice those habits together.
  9. Don’t use tanning beds.
  10. Wear a hat outdoors.  A hat can help give added coverage for the skin on your ears and neck.

I hope this post will remind you how important it is to use sun cream in all sorts of weather and that it is important for you and your family to be sun smart.


laroche_logo_.pngI have a Goody bag with a number of skin and sun products from La Roche-Posay (#add)and I would love to give this away to one of my readers. Just click like, comment and share this post.  I will announce the winner in a few days. 

Thanks for all your messages.  
Message sent to winner- P. Dowd.  Congratsđź–’


Thanks for reading




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