How to protect your skin from sun damage

You may have noticed that we are a family of five redheads. People with blond or red hair are more susceptible to sunburn which in turn means that we are at higher risk of skin cancer. Sun protection is therefore very high on our agenda and something that as a family we seriously think about.

It’s not just us redheads that are at an increased risk of sun damage. Factors that pose higher risks for skin cancer can include:

*Family history of skin cancer
*Exposure to the sun through work or play
*A history of sunburns
*Fair skin
*Blond or red hair
*Light coloured eyes
*A large number of moles
*Patients with autoimmune diseases
*People using immunosuppressive drugs
*Certain skin conditions
*Patients undergoing or recovering from radiotherapy

Choosing the correct sunscreen can be a bit of a minefield at times, UVA, UVB, broad spectrum - what exactly does it all mean? It is especially difficult after recent press exposure proving that not all sunscreens provide the protection they claim to. It is certainly difficult to decide which sun care brand to trust these days. 

The Australian Government have tried to combat this problem and have imposed the tightest worldwide regulations for sunscreens. Australian sunscreens have to abide by strict laws which forbid misleading claims about SPF, water resistance and broad spectrum. Australian brands such as SunSense follow these rules and provide the very best sun protection for your family.

We were sent some samples of SunSense to try ourselves and have to say we have been extremely impressed. SunSense is the UK’s No1 prescribed sunscreen (available from your GP or dermatologist if you have certain skin conditions or a history of skin problems) and is also available to buy online here or from your local pharmacy, John Lewis or Waitrose store. 

We tried SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ (the highest SPF available in Australia) which was super easy to apply on our children’s skin every day before school. It wasn’t thick and difficult to absorb as is my experience with other brands who offer high protection, in fact it disappeared into the skin within seconds leaving you moisturised and protected.

This sunscreen was easy for our children to carry in their school bag and re-apply themselves at lunchtime.

Another product we tried was the SunSense Anti-ageing face SPF 50+. As a lady in my 30’s I am very keen to do anything I can to minimise fine lines and wrinkles whilst also protecting my skin from damage. Designed to be worn daily, this product contains ingredients to minimise fine lines and wrinkles whilst also working hard to provide the skin with the best sun protection. Application has easily been incorporated into my daily routine leaving me with glowing, healthy skin. I much prefer using this product so other moisturisers I have tried as it has been very light to apply and provides a lot higher degree of sun protection (I have found most traditional moisturisers are only available in SPF 15 or SPF 25).

Top Tips for staying safe in the sunshine

*Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors
*Apply more than 1/2 teaspoon to each arm, face and neck
*Apply more than 1 teaspoon to each leg, front and back of the body
*Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, even when wearing sunscreen. Make sure you still cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses.
*Re-apply sunscreen every 3-4 hours, especially after swimming, sweating or towel drying.

You can find out more about being sun sensible here:- and order free sample of SunSense to try yourself by emailing

Dying for a Tan visits Newcastle

The SunSense team are hitting the road and can be found on Newcastle’s Northumberland Street on 27th June with their special UV cameras. If you are worried about skin damage, you can pop along and see what your skin looks like under a UV lens to discover how much protection sunscreen provides you and your children (for more information and other UK roadshow dates check the SunSense website). There will also be lots of expert advice and information available too.

Finally, the NHS recommends you stay SMART in the sun and follow this advice:-

  • pend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
  • ake sure you never burn.
  • im to cover up with a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
  • emember to take extra care with children.
  • hen use factor 15+ sunscreen.

  • Now that I know our family are going to be properly protected, I can't wait to enjoy lots of fresh air and outdoor adventure this Summer.



    1. I've never tried this brand but they sound good, I may need to try before our holiday, my peanut has the most sensitive skin but I'm military in my use of suncream id hate to see them burn!


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