Another extremely hot Milan weekend is over but luckily for me, survived it by the swimming pool as trying to get some color before heading for vacations this weekend to a chilly Latvia. As it has been extremely hot last month here in Italy and in general south of Europe, than being extra careful when getting exposed in the sun is extremely important, especially when the UV index is as high as here and humidity is more than 90%.
- Rule 1 – Schedule your protection
Did you know that you can bolster your skin’s defense if you apply SPF before you go on holiday? So make sure you schedule to apply sunscreen before getting exposed in sun, already 2-5 days before therefore allowing you to stay two-and-half times longer before burning (*A Danish study on sun exposure).
Even on my Travels I always plan ahead my holidays and sun exposure, therefore always having my 3 emergency things packed: sunscreen, sunnies and pareo (this unique piece I use as a dress, cover up, beach towel or a scarf when becomes chilly). This is my relaxing morning kit at a mountain resort in Rio.
- Rule 2 – Don’t forget to protect your eyes
The eyelids are really sensitive as has really thin skin therefore must be taken care properly, moreover because it is responsible for 10% of all skin cancers. Make sure that you have a proper sunglasses with maximum UV protection (so leave the cheap ones, bought from a beach vendor, at home or for late afternoon sun or better – save the money for something better).
A picture from my Sicilian adventure where I was playing with a reflection.
- Rule 3 – Beware of cloudy days
Indeed, cloudy days are the worst ones and I am telling you from the experience. (I have had some pretty bad sunburns when feels like outside is hot but there is no sun in the sight so you an forget about covering your shoulders, head and back and this is when you get a massive sunburn and cannot comb your hair properly). It’s important to use a sunscreen even on cloudy or partly cloudy days if you know you will be out all day or part of the day because the UV rays reflect off the sides of the clouds, which actually enhances the radiation and therefore these days the radiation can be 50-75% higher than predicted (*according to Dr. J.Sabburg of Southern Queensland, Australia).So check the weather forecast and if it is cloudy but still hot: apply sunscreen, bring the hat and your sunnies.
- Rule 4 – Don’t get exposed on the hottest hours of the day
Tanning is good, but don’t forget to get out of the sun from the hottest hours of the day as when the sun is the highest and are the biggest risk to damage your skin. So if you are in beach – make sure you have a proper UV protecting sun umbrella or rent one at nearest lido (or just get out of the beach and head for a long lunch or city/museum exploring, like me in Santa Margherita).
My Phi Phi Island getaway and hiding from the sun.
- Rule 5 – Use SPF under your clothes
I know it sounds strange, but it’s true, you should be using SPF also under your clothes as it is not much of a sun protection. (Cotton like 10SPF and when wet only three). I know linen is nice for your skin in a hot, summer days but it won’t protect you much from the UV. Neither will the other light fabrics. Easy way to test is to hold it up to the light – if you can see through it, than UV can get through as well.
- Rule 6 – Post-sun plan
Yale university study has discovered that UV keeps damaging the cells up to 4 to 8 hours after you head indoors, therefore post sun plan is a must and unfortunately not all the post-sun creams are doing the job to prevent that. Therefore make sure you invest in a good after sun cream but if you have soaked up too much rays you might even go for a low-dose of a 81mg coated aspirin with a meal (*According to Eckel) as it’s potent anti-inflammatory, which irreversibly inhibits enzymes involved in inflammation.
- Rule 7 – Time it right
First you should apply your sunscreen indoors (and we all know that), let it dry and than dress up so it not gets in your clothes and soaks up the skin and than head out to take the sun.
Even in 6 am in the morning it was getting hot in Maresias beach, so cream was needed even before heading for a run.
So don’t forget these little sun rules and you will be tanning like a pro!
p.s. remember there is no such thing as water resistant sunscreen, therefore you should put it again every time you go swimming or go in the water.
P.S.S. WHAT’S YOUR TANNING TIP?