We all know the old adage, Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap, but it’s easy to forget just how harsh our New Zealand sun can be, so we’ve put together some practical tips for keeping yourself and your family safe from the sun this summer.
1. Cover up
As much as the heat makes us want to wear as little clothing as possible, when you’re out in direct sunlight, it’s important to cover up as much as you can to avoid getting sunburnt. Wearing light clothing with lots of coverage is ideal – think long-sleeved kaftans and loose pants, or even just popping on a rash shirt over your swimsuit. Wearing a sunhat with a wide brim will also offer you some extra protection too.
2. Wear sunglasses
This one is more important than you think – aside from helping you to see past the glare from the sun, sunglasses also protect your eyes from the serious damage that the sun can do to them. To actually protect your eyes from the sun, make sure that your sunglasses have some kind of proper UV protection and are not just a fashion statement.
3. Use sunscreen
This one may seem obvious, but quite a few of us aren’t actually using sunscreen properly, leaving us with nasty sunburn and the thought that sunscreen doesn’t even work at all. For sunscreen to be properly effective, you need to apply it at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun. You also need to reapply every couple of hours, especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating – waterproof sunscreen is ideal for this too. Make sure you also grab a sunscreen that’s at least SPF30 with UVA and UVB protection.
4. Stay in the shade
It’s okay to enjoy the sun’s rays if you’re alternating between being in the sun and being in the shade – it’s the best of both worlds! If you’re heading somewhere where it’s very exposed and the sun will be directly on you, it might pay to bring along a beach umbrella or a small tent to keep you protected. In New Zealand, the sun is usually at its harshest between 10am and 4pm, so remember to limit your time in the sun during these times.
5. Keep hydrated
This one is also easily forgotten as we tend to be drinking more alcohol and sugary drinks around this time of year which can dehydrate us fast, especially if we’re in the sun. Make sure to carry a large bottle of water around with you and even set alarms on your watch or phone to help you remember to drink more water. No one wants to feel tired and deal with headaches when you’re in the heat so remember to keep up your water intake.
Stay sun-safe everyone!