Ultraviolet radiation (UV)

Individual protection against UV

What kind of sunscreen should I use?

Always use a sunscreen that blocks out both UVA and UVB and has an SPF of 15 or higher. To achieve good protection: Apply the sunscreen thickly and evenly to all exposed parts of your body 15 minutes before going outside. Pay particular attention to the most exposed parts such as ears, nose, forehead and neck. You should re-apply the sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming or other sporting activities. The use of a lip balm containing a sunscreen protects against recurrent lip eruptions of cold sores.

A number of studies have shown that the vast majority of people do not apply sufficient amounts of sunscreen and therefore do not achieve the specified SPF. Approximately 35 ml of sunscreen must be applied to the total body surface of an adult to result in the SPF quoted on the tube. Hence as a rough guideline, one tube of sunscreen should last for approximately three whole-body applications. It is better to apply too much sunscreen than too little.

Sunscreens are not to be confused with after-sun creams. After-sun lotions moisturize or soothe dry and sunburnt skin, but they neither protect against the sun's UV rays nor repair UV damage.