We are currently experiencing a heatwave in many parts of Ireland, with the mercury hitting 32C for the first time since 1976! While it is glorious weather to spend our days out and about enjoying the sun, it’s also important to protect our skin and our bodies. This week we share some helpful tips to keep you safe in the sun and how to cope with the heat!
Don't forget the SPF!
Always include an SPF, we cannot stress that enough. Even during the dull, cold rainy weather that is the norm in Ireland, it’s important to add an SPF into your routine, so it’s imperative that we are even more vigilant about this step in Summer. We recommend having two types of sun protection, one for your face and another for your body. Facial sun SPF’s are specifically formulated for the delicate, thin skin of your face. Plus, this is the area where most people want to prevent premature ageing. Opt for one that contains both UVA and UVB protection. UVA rays are notorious for causing wrinkles, age spots and general skin ageing, while UVB protects your skin from burning.
These days there are so many different options so choose from, spray, cream, gel, lotion and stick, so it’s easy to get one that suits your preference. Try to include a value of between 30 and 50. There is a myth that sunscreens with high factors are for those with delicate skin, however, this is untrue. While different skin types can tolerate different factors, SPF 30 just means that you can stay 30 times longer in the sunshine without burning than you could if you didn’t apply SPF at all. Finally, make sure that you’re toping-up regularly (every 80 minutes at least) throughout the day, especially if you are in and out of the sea.
ADD ADDITIONAL SUN PROTECTION
When the temperature is hitting 30C our first impulse is probably to wear as little as possible. While were not against this, might we suggest adding a few additional pieces to help give a little extra protection? Including a wide-brimmed hat is an easy option to protect your hair, face and ears during hot weather, there are so many different options available that will ensure you look stylish by the pool. Plus, don’t forget your sunglasses, opt for a pair that have polarized lenses with UV filters. Avoid anything reflective: Mirrors may look cool, but they bounce UV light onto your cheeks.
Make sure you keep yourself hydrated in hot weather. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, if you have been exercising or busy running in and out of the sea, it’s even more important to keep your hydration levels up. Adding an electrolyte solution to your water may also help if you have been burnt or your hydration levels have been severely depleted, these sachet solutions include important elements such as
KEEP COOL IN THE HEAT
Opting for lightweight cotton clothing is the best option when it's scorching outside. Heat is trapped by synthetic fibres, but cotton absorbs perspiration and its evaporation causes you to feel cooler. Avoid dark colours, instead opt for light colours such whites, creams or pastels, as these are more likely to reflect the sun's radiation. It's advisable to step into the shade between 11am and 3pm, as this is the time of the day where the sun is strongest. Adding a refreshing facial spritz, like VOYA’s Ritzy Spritzy facial toning mist to your beach bag will give you an extra opportunity to cool down throughout the day. Plus, it will leave the skin with a fresh dewy glow!
If you’re hitting the beach or pool, bring a cooler box with you and include snacks that will aid hydration while keeping you cool. Ice pops and ice cream seem like the no-brainer choice here, but we’d suggest adding some frozen fruit treats as well, for example watermelon or pineapple slices are easy to freeze and great for aiding hydration. Frozen lemon and lime slices are also great for keeping your drinks cool and refreshing.
EMBRACE ALOE VERA
If you’ve spent the day at the beach, it’s likely you’ve caught some sun. Make sure you treat skin affected by the sun with a moisturising product that contains Aloe Vera, such as VOYA’s Softly Does It body lotion. Research has shown Aloe Vera aids the skin in healing from sunburns and aids in moisturising the skin, helping to avoid the peeling normally associated with sun damage. (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)
CHANGE UP YOUR EATING HABITS
According to the BBC Food Guide “How to eat in a Heatwave”, Foods account for around 20-30% of our fluid intake, and there are some options that contain more water than others, it’s suggested that trying to eat more of the following may help to increase our water intake: Strawberries, Cucumber, Courgettes, Celery, Lettuce and Melon.
They also suggest eating dishes with a high fluid content in hot weather, while soups. stews and porridge might seem like food we’d usually associate with winter, by changing up the ingredients, there are perfect options for Summer too: see some delicious examples here: Fish Stew, Summer Soaps, Summer Porridge.
It’s also likely your appetite may take a dip in hot weather and this isn’t rare: according to nutritional therapist Kerry Torrens: “Seasonal changes including temperature and the number of daylight hours are thought to influence our appetite” “In the summer our appetite tends to be reduced, especially when we’re feeling hot. One reason for this is that the body tries to regulate our body temperature by cutting down on heat-generating functions like the digestion of food.
BE SAFE AND ENJOY THE SUN
We don’t get days or weeks like this too often, be skin safe, be water safe and keep your body protected and hydrated. Enjoy this time, because we don’t get days and weeks like this too often!