As promised, on this website, we won’t just be giving you updates from the Tour. We’re also going to be posting many useful tips to stay healthy and reduce your risk of having cancer. (Did you know that in the UK one in three of us will have cancer at some point in life ?). This month, as it is officially summer, we will be focusing on ways to protect yourself from the sun.
We all like a bit of sunbathing and what with the weather getting grayer, when the Sun does show its’ face all we really want to do is spread out and bathe in its rays for hours on end as if we were cold blooded. But that’s when the Sun is most dangerous ! Sunlight is good for you and even necessary to life AS LONG AS you enjoy it wisely. Here are a few precious tips that will allow you to do just that.
1 – Go steady
You may have noticed that you are more prone to sunburn in the first days of your holiday. That’s normal: skin gets used to the Sun. Therefore, on the first days, you should not expose yourself more than 10 minutes a day, most especially if you have rather fair skin. Also, avoid direct sunlight during peak UV risk which is from 11am to 3pm in the UK and from midday to 4pm in France. By doing this, you will acquire a longer lasting glow, even if it takes more time to appear.
Even when your skin will have developed a tan, you should still protect it. You should wear sun cream with an SPF that is adapted to your skin tone, but most especially you should complete the protection with sunglasses, a hat and even a tee-shirt. These are by far the most effective ways of protecting yourself from the Sun because cream is easily rubbed off or diluted by water or sweat.
3 – Especially kids !
Whatever their skin tone is, kids are a lot more vulnerable to the Suns’ rays. Indeed, before the age of 15, our cells are not able to defend themselves as well as when we are adults. Therefore, sunburn which, already, is dangerous for adults, is even more so to children, and increases their risk of developing melanoma. As Max the Mouse, our kids club mascot, would put it : SLIP, SLAP, SLOP. What does that mean ?! Slip on a tee-shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some suncream ! Babies, as for them, should never be exposed to the Sun.
4 – Beware of the conditions
All light or reflective surfaces (water, sand, snow, and even cement) reflect the Suns’ rays which means on the one hand, that you are even more exposed to the dangers of the Sun in these conditions and, on the other hand, that at the beach, you are exposed even if you are under a parasol. Also, altitude duplicates UV risk. And whatever you do, don’t let yourself be fooled by a cloudy sky or windy conditions : they don’t protect you from UV rays, you must protect yourself as much as if you were sweltering under a blue sky.
Every child that is born in the UK today has a 1 in 55 risk of developing skin cancer over his lifetime. That is huge. And this figure has been getting worse since the 70s and still is right now. The main cause is unreasonable exposure to the Sun. So this summer, please make the Sun safe. Thank you.