Woman putting on suncream

Holiday checklist: How to stay safe in the sun

Prevent sunburn and skin damage with our expert's top tips

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Holiday checklist: How to stay safe in the sun

We love the sun. Not only can a hit of vitamin D give many of us a feel-good buzz, but after a disappointingly cold May, there's nothing better than the feeling of the hot summer sun on your skin. 

However, it's important to make sure you stay safe in the sun to avoid burning and damaging your skin. And remember, although the UK isn't always scorching, those harmful UV rays can still get through and do lasting damage.

To ensure you stay safe in the sun, tanner, make-up artist and beauty expert Carly Hobbs is here to help with some top skin care tips...

Apply suncream with a high factor

The NHS recommends applying a sun cream with a protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB (the cause of reddening and sunburn). You should look for a cream with at least four-star UVA protection. Asda's suncreams have 5 star UVA protection.

Make sure your suncream isn't out of date

Make sure the sunscreen is not past its expiry date. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years as long as it hasn't been kept in direct sunlight or at high temperatures.

Apply suncream 30 minutes before you head out

Carly said: "Ensure you do this 30 minutes before heading out into the sunshine to allow it to dry and settle."

Most people don't apply enough sunscreen. As a guide, the NHS recommends adults should apply around two teaspoons of sunscreen if you're just covering your head, arms and neck and two tablespoons if you're covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume.

Apply, apply and then reapply

Carly said: "Reapply every few hours and whenever you've been for a swim or rubbed yourself down with a towel.

“If you find applying suncream a hassle, make it as easy and as quick as possible by using a clean fake tan mitt. It allows you to swipe the product in evenly and efficiently, just don't forget to do the hand that is in the mitt too."

Keep kids out the sun as much as possible

The NHS recommends keeping babies less than six months old out of direct sunlight. Their skin contains too little melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their colour and provides some protection from the sun.

For older infants, they recommend keeping your child out of sunlight as much as possible. If you do go out when it's very hot, the NHS suggest attaching a parasol or sunshade to pushchairs.  

Suncream that is specially designed for children and babies is less likely to contain additives that might irritate the skin and should be reapplied regularly. And finally, make sure your child wears a sunhat with a rim to protect their neck from the sun.

Invest in a good pair of sunnies

A stylish pair of shades is essential in the sun to both protect the delicate skin around your eyes, as well as protecting against damaging UV rays. Look for sunglasses that say 100% UV protection.

Take shade at regular intervals

Carly said: "Do this especially between 11am and 3pm when temperatures soar and the sun it at its hottest and most dangerous. Get under an umbrella, cover up - heck even go inside to take a nap or sip a cocktail. This is to prevent burning, skin damage and also stop you from feeling wobbly from too much sun."

Fake it until you make it

You don't have to sit in the sun to get a cracking tan. Carly says, "try an amazing faux glow product before, during and after your holiday or even better visit a professional spray tanner - it means less white bits, it's 100% safe and you get a glow a million times more even than one you'd get from a sun lounger anyway."

Watch out for the easy to forget areas

Carly said: "Apply suncream carefully around the eyes, don't forget the lids! Give lips a slick of specialised SPF balms and always go over the tops of the ears with this too - they're really sensitive!"

Cover your head


Your scalp is the closest thing to the sun so it's definitely up there with parts of your body which are most likely to burn. Nobody likes a flaking scalp, do they? So make sure you invest in a sun hat.

Drink lots of H2O

If you're out in the sun all day, chances are you're sweating a lot. So put back some water into your body and keep hydrated!

Make sure you stay safe in the sun by investing in some sun cream. To see our full range of sun creams which include facial, kids and body, make sure you head to your local store or head online