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Top 5 Sun Protection Tips

Rex Features
We can hardly control our excitement about the fact that we're now actually getting some proper sunshine. But some sobering facts released by Cancer Research UK have reminded us that we need to hold back on the outdoor frolicking until we've taken the necessary precautions. Here are the top five things you need to remember - check out www.sunsmart.org.uk for more essential tips.
1. Your fake tan doesn't offer protection. Going the fake 'n' bake route rather than the actual baking one is definitely a smart decision, but it's essential to remember when you are gazing down at your beautifully St-Tropez brown legs that if you don't slap on the SPF, they will still burn. Fake tan plus sunburn? Not a good look at all.
2. Forget anything with an SPF of less than 15- but don't hesitate to go higher, especially on sensitive areas like your face and ears. You also want to look for a 'broad-spectrum' sunscreen, with a minumum four-star rating - that means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
3. Sunscreen expires. If you're using stuff from your holiday three years ago, you need to get some fresh stuff - but you shouldn't really have any leftovers, either, because if you're applying it properly you'll be going through several bottles in a week away - one application equals one shot glass of sunscreen (um, don't drink the shot, though).
4. Reapply, reapply, reapply. Some sunscreens use the fact that you don't have to re-apply as their selling point. Don't listen to them. Sand, water and sweat will all cause your sunscreen to wear off...even the 'waterproof' types. So slather on another layer every few hours.
5. Get out of the sun. Yes, we know, avoiding the sun is NOT the reason that you endured that Ryanair flight. But if you avoid direct sun during the sunniest part of the day - 11-3 pm - your skin will thank you for it. This doesn't mean you have to sit in your hotel room with the lights turned off, but simply that you should sit under an umbrella and throw on a hat and a long-sleeved cover up (white - it reflects sun the best) when you're out and about.

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