Monday 26 August 2019

Ask the expert: Laura Dowling, pharmacist

Use a high sun protection factor (SPF)
Use a high sun protection factor (SPF)
Laura Dowling

Laura Dowling, aka The Fabulous Pharmacist, shares her top tips for staying safe in the sun

How do we know we are choosing the right SPF with enough protection?

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Always choose a sun cream that has both UVA and UVB broad-spectrum filters. UVA rays age the skin and UVB rays burn it. Neither option is attractive.

What is the right factor to choose in a sunscreen?

Laura Dowling
Laura Dowling

Use a high sun protection factor (SPF). Anything under SPF 20 will not give your skin the protection it needs. We should all be aiming to wear SPF 50.

How often should we reapply SPF?

Apply sun cream every two to three hours no matter how 'water resistant' the labeling says it is.

What tips do you have to stay safe in the sun?

Avoid sunbathing or over-exposure between noon and 3pm when the sun is at its highest in the sky and at its hottest.

How do we best protect our kids on sun holidays?

Make sure babies and young children are well covered up with loose, long sleeves, hats and parasols. Babies shouldn't need sun cream, as they should be kept in the shade except for a few minutes at either the beginning or end of the day when the sun is low in the sky. This will give them their Vitamin D supply without the skin damage.

How do we protect our heads and scalps from too much sun?

Wear a hat or cap to keep the sun off the face and bald heads. I see so many older men come in with sun damage on their heads. Golfers are particularly susceptible.

Laura Dowling is a practicing pharmacist who is passionate about health and wellness. @fabulouspharmacist

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