How to protect yourself against the sun : the sun protection guide
We have written the Sun Protection Guide in partnership with the 'Ligue Contre le Cancer' (League Against Cancer) so that you can make the most of the sun in complete safety. When it is time to think about getting your bag ready for your first trips out in the sun, it is also time to think about protecting yourself against harmful UV rays. Your own and your children's face and body need effective protection to avoid potentially painful burns and sunburn.
1. Sunlight is essential for life
A few minutes' exposure each day is enough to have an effect on our mood and well-being. Our body needs sunlight to make vitamin D, which acts on our bone mass and fixes calcium and phosphorus. This is essential for children.
2. What are the risks ?
After unprotected exposure to the sun, you run the risk of burning, sunburn and accelerated skin ageing, resulting in brown or clear marks, small, white star-shaped scars, dry skin, wrinkles and thick skin.Sunburn is a skin burn. It must be treated as such. Ask your chemist for advice to treat it appropriately.
3. The various types of skin
Some people are more sensitive to UV rays than others. Every skin is different. Your skin has higher or lower sensitivity according to its colour (phototype). Suitable protection for any skin type depends on UV ray intensity, the duration of exposure and the activity being done.
Extremely sensitive (phototype 1). You have very fair skin, often with freckles. You burn very easily and never tan (or only with great difficulty)! Do not try to get a tan. Protect yourself. You are strongly advised not to expose yourself to the sun between 12 pm and 4 pm.
Maximum protection is essential: clothes, hat, sunglasses and very high protection factor sunscreen (SPF 50+).
Sensitive+ (phototype 3). You have slightly dark skin. You burn with difficulty and tan easily. You may acquire a slight tan. Nevertheless, you are strongly advised not to expose yourself to the sun between 12 pm and 4 pm* without full protection:
clothes, hat, sunglasses and very high protection factor sunscreen (SPF 30 and 50).
Fairly resistant (phototypes 4 and 5). You have dark to very dark skin, almost never burn and tan very quickly.
You have good sun tolerance. Expose yourself to it very gradually. Especially during the first few days, avoid exposing yourself to the sun between 12 pm and 4 pm* without full protection: clothes, hat, sunglasses and very high protection factor sunscreen (SPF 15, 20 and 25).
Black skin (phototype 6) is naturally protected against the harmful effects of the sun. Nevertheless, remember to protect fairer zones (palms of your hands and soles of your feet).You are advised to wear sunglasses. You have very good sun tolerance. Especially during the first few days, avoid exposing yourself to the sun between 12 pm and 4 pm* without full protection: clothes, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (SPF 6 to 10).
4. Be sensible about exposing yourself to the sun
The best possible way to expose yourself to the sun is to do so very gradually. On the first day, 10 minutes is enough to prepare your skin.
Limit the exposure of children up to the age of 15 as much as possible since their skin is more sensitive than an adult's. For babies, the only advice is never to expose them to the sun!
Sunburn during childhood and sporadic,intense exposure to the sun increase the risk of developing skin cancer as an adult.
5. Protect yourself against the sun
Wherever you are, whether in town, the sea or the mountains, it is important to protect yourself against the harmful effects of the sun. The best way to protect yourself is to cover up with suitable clothes and a wide-brimmed hat, and apply sunscreen to any body parts exposed to the sun.
Clothes are thus the best protection against the sun. Wear long, full garments permeable to perspiration, such as long-sleeved shirts and linen or cotton trousers.
Be careful - not all fabrics protect against the sun. Only tightly woven fabrics that meet European sun protection standards provide you with effective protection. For this reason, preferably buy UV-proof T-shirts or sun protection tops that are effective even when wet for you and your children.
For optimal protection, preferably buy a wide-brimmed hat covering the nape of your neck and your ears.
The phenomenon of reflection increases exposure to your eyes when you are by the water or in the mountains. It is therefore essential to protect your own and your children's eyes. Pay attention to the tint of the glasses and the lens category.
d. Sun products
You must use sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun and not just on the beach. The sunscreen must be chosen according to your phototype.
|Categories||Indice de protection||Phototype|
|Low protection||6, 10||Very dark skin|
|Medium protection||15, 20, 25||Sensitive skin|
|High protection||30, 50||Slightly sensitive skin|
|Very high protection||50+||Very sensitive skin|
Be careful, since we all tend to apply a thinner layer of sunscreen than is used in laboratory conditions. For this reason, you should not hesitate to use a high protection product.
Remember to protect children: Babies' and children's skin is more sensitive. It is thinner than adult skin and the cells do not have the ability to repair themselves that is needed to stand up to repeated sunburn.
6. Becareful about false ideas
- Anyone can get a tan?
- The hottest hours of the day are not the most dangerous?
- It is not worth protecting yourself when you have a tan?
- Sunscreen enables you to have longer exposure?
- Swimming protects you against the risk of sunburn?
- A wet garment provides as much protection as a dry one?
- People with dark or very dark skin do not need to protect themselves against the sun?
7. Beware of
-The midday sun (12 pm – 2 pm)
-Clouds, wind and coolness
8. Useless pre-exposure preparation
-UV sessions: Contrary to what you might think, UV sessions do not prepare the skin for the sun. These sessions even increase the carcinogenic effect of prolonged exposure to the sun.
-Self-tanning products: Self-tanning products act only on dead cells in the skin's corneal layer, which explains why their effect is limited to 4-6 days.
-Tanning accelerators: Some monoï- or milking grease-based oils do not have a protective filter and increase the harmful effects of the sun.
-Dietary supplements: Dietary supplements do not protect against UV rays and cannot replace eating seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Be careful with medicines, deodorants and perfumes!
They may trigger allergies, lead to photosensitivity or result in serious burns after exposure.
9. Do not take any chances
- Drink plenty of water!
- Eat a balanced diet!
- Vitamins give you a healthy look!
- Dare to be colourful with betacarotene-rich food!
-My cocktail for peachy skin!
10. Keep an eye on your skin texture
Examine your skin regularly:
You must keep a close eye on any wound, spot, scab or even your skin texture. You must consult a dermatologist if you notice any persisting skin change.
People with phototype 1 and 2, and those with large numbers of moles, must have themselves checked regularly.