Knowing how to protect your skin against the sun on holidays is not only crucial for good health, but it also helps guarantee a stress-free holiday. Here we’ve put together some simple sun-safe tips for you to follow for your upcoming holiday this year. 


For Those Who Experience Photosensitivity

Bear in mind that, if you’re someone who either has a form of arthritis and/or medications that make you more vulnerable to photosensitivity (usually a rash triggered by overexposure to the sun), then you need to be even more careful. 


For some of people, lying in the shade for their holiday is the only option and, in between regular dips to the pool or sea, still mean you’ll have a joyful and relaxing holiday – you just won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Don’t forget that sun bounces off reflective surfaces, so even though you’re in the shade, you’ll still be exposed to the sun’s rays, so you’ll need to follow all the below steps to stay adequately protected.  


  1. Protect yourself: wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which guards against two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays – UVA and UVB rays. It should have an SPF of at least 30, which blocks about 97 per cent of UV rays (interestingly, SPF 50 blocks 98 per cent so it’s not massively different). If you tend to forget to reapply sunscreen, you could opt for a ‘once a day’ product but do be mindful that ALL sunscreens need to be reapplied after swimming. Also, these products lose their protection after 6-8 hours so apply once in the morning, and again after lunch.  
  2. Apply well: it’s no use missing spots, so make sure that you’ve applied your sunscreen liberally to all areas, particularly your nose, ears, neck, hands, feet and lips (often areas that are missed and therefore burn!). Experts recommend six full teaspoons of sunscreen to cover the body of an average adult.  
  3. Cover up: opt for a wide brimmed hat, or baseball cap, and wear sun-protective clothing (t-shirts with UV built in are so handy, but long-sleeve shirts can be protective also).  
  4. Take breaks in the shade: particularly between 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are at their most intense. 
  5. Avoid chemical-laden body products: some photosensitivity can be triggered by perfumed products and even some sunscreens so keep your products as simple and natural as possible.  
  6. If you are bald/thinning on top: don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the top of your head! 
  7. Don’t forget your eyes: this is especially important if you’re on the beach or near water as the reflection means further exposure to UV radiation. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection.  
  8. If you tend to overheat: try running your wrists under a cold tap for five seconds every couple of hours, take a tepid shower (a cold shower may appeal, but your body will generate heat to compensate afterwards) and make sure to drink plenty of water. If you notice symptoms of heat stroke – such as headaches, dizziness, a temperature or extreme thirst – get out of the sun completely, rehydrate immediately and consider some pain relief such as paracetamol.  
  9. Dress smartly: avoid black if possible and opt for lightweight, cotton or light linens where possible, avoiding synthetic fabrics.  
  10. Avoid alcohol if possible, or limit amounts: alcohol dehydrates the body, meaning that, despite all the water your drinking, you’re still not hydrated enough. Consider watering down your drinks down with ice cubes and swap every second drink for sparkling water instead. Ask for a ‘mocktail’ or a non-alcoholic beer or wine too – you may be surprised how good they taste, as the market has grown considerably so new producers are coming up with better concoctions all the time. 

Stay safe and enjoy the luxury of downtime and recharging your batteries on this upcoming holiday – you deserve it!