Sun safety for your family

How can you make sure your family is protected from the harmful effects of the sun?

Sunlight produces warmth, visible light, and ultraviolet light (UVL), which can penetrate our skin. But too much UVL exposure can be dangerous for our skin and increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging. In this blog post, we'll provide you with tips on how to keep your babies, kids, and older family members safe in the sun.


Let's start with a little bit of theory...

Sunlight generates warmth (infra-red) that we can feel, visible light (that our eyes can see in daylight) and ultraviolet light (UVL) which we cannot see or feel but which can penetrate our skin. Excessive and frequent exposure is dangerous for our skin and can increase the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing (wrinkles and dark spots).

The UV light is grouped as UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth. However, both UVA and UVB penetrate the atmosphere and play a major role in causing conditions such as sunburn, premature skin ageing, and skin cancers.

UVA rays (A for Ageing) are present all year round. They cause ageing, hyperpigmentation, and photo allergies. For this reason, it is very important to apply sun protection all year round as they pass through glass and all materials. UVB (B for Burns) are more intense in summer months from 10am to 4pm and they are blocked by glass. UVB rays are the main cause of redness and sunburn.


What is the UV index?

The UV index tells you daily what the UV levels are and when sun protection measures are required. You need to be protected as soon as the UV index reaches 3 which in Malta means practically all year round!


What should you look for when buying sunscreen?

When shopping for sun protection, it is important to opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen which provides high protection against UVB (SPF 50) and UVA (Look for the UVA in a full circle to ensure high protection). The Anthelios UVMune 400 Range is the first sun protection range with the filter Mexoryl 400 that protects from the most insidious rays that penetrate up to 400nm deep in the skin. This is the strongest protection on the market.
Other properties to look out for include anti-eye stinging, water, sweat and sand-resistant, and those that do not leave a white cast. Choose the texture that is best suited to your skin type especially since sun protection on the face should be used all year round.

The Anthelios range by La Roche-Posay offers a vast range of sunscreens that suit everyone’s needs and they are suitable for all skin tones as they do not leave a white cast.

What are the experts' recommendations when it comes to sun protection in babies and children?

Here are some important guidelines to follow:

  • Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to direct constant sunlight and should not be applied sun protection as their skin is still underdeveloped. If you cannot do otherwise, try a test patch before applying a product to the whole body.

  • Children above 6 months of age can apply sun protection however they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. It is ideal that they wear a wide brimmed hat, stay in the shade and wear UV protective clothing. If the latter is unavailable, it is best to wear dark-coloured clothing with long sleeves and long trousers to confer better protection.


How much sunscreen should be applied?

In general,  a teaspoon of sunscreen should be used for the face, and a shot glass full for the rest of the body – an average of 30mL for adults and half that amount for babies and kids (over 6 months). This should be re-applied every 2 hours if exposed to direct sunlight.  


Here are some tips with regards to hyperpigmentation (melasma) during pregnancy and while breastfeeding:

A broad-spectrum sunscreen should be applied every day 20-30 minutes before going out and re-applied every 2 hours. Products specific to treat and prevent pigmentation include Anthelios Pigment Correct SPF50+ to be applied in the morning and La Roche-Posay Niacinamide 10 Serum to be applied at night. A wide-brimmed hat and staying in the shade are other general recommendations.


Options of sunscreens offered by La Roche Posay can be found HERE. Free same or next day delivery is offered. La Roche-Posay products can also be found in Pharmacies around Malta and Gozo.

This post was written by Karen Curmi, Pharmacist & La Roche-Posay Brand Executive at Prohealth.













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