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Your by-numbers guide to safely soaking up the rays this summer
…on a sunscreen tell you it has unbeatable anti-ageing power. They refer to protection against UVA rays, which cause ageing and longer-term skin damage (while the SPF refers to guarding against sunburn). ‘Any sun damage is as permanent as a tattoo,’ says Boots suncare expert Clare O’Connor. To protect against ageing and sunburn, we love Soltan, the only leading suncare brand with full 5-star UVA protection*. Try Soltan Once Advanced 8HR Protect Suncare Lotion SPF50+ Boots Exclusive £10/1,000 points (200ml).
So if you notice changes in the appearance of any of your moles (or spot new ones), get them checked as soon as possible, as this can be a warning sign. The Mole Scanning Service†, available in selected stores (boots.com/mole- scanning-service), can help address concerns.
…is how often you should be slapping on the sunscreen to stay protected (as well as after every swim). We rate water-resistant Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Lotion SPF50+, £6/600 points (200ml). Bonus: it also helps reduce the risk of sun allergies such as itchy rashes. Start the stopwatch!
Layering different products that contain SPF (including make-up) doesn’t add more protection. ‘It just offers the sun-protection factor level stated on the highest one and won’t increase it – although it does help to ensure no missed patches,’ says Clare. ‘So look for a moisturiser with high levels of protection against UVA and UVB to use under make-up. Or, if your make-up or skincare doesn’t contain at least SPF25, make sure you also wear a sunscreen that does.’ We like CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF25 ††, £12/1,200 points (52ml).
…is how much sunscreen you need for coverage when you’re in your swimsuit. ‘People often only apply about a quarter of what they should,’ says Clare. ‘In fact, women get most skin cancer on their legs, as they tend to be neglected.’ Try an easy-to-use SPF heavyweight, such as La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Spray SPF50+ ††, £17.50/1,750 points (200ml).
The take-out: slather yourself in a sunscreen that’s water-resistant before you go for a dip
Words Rosie Benson
*The star rating is a measure of the absorbance of UVA relative to UVB. Other brands not displaying a star-rating symbol may still offer high levels of UVA protection. Supporting data can be found at boots.com/soltan-uva-protection. †Operated by ScreenCancer UK. Subject to eligibility criteria and pharmacy team member availability. Charges apply. The first mole/pigmented lesion scanned will cost £35. Each additional mole/pigmented lesion in the one consultation will cost £15. ††Available in selected stores.