DURING the summer months it’s key to use sun cream to protect yourself from skin cancer.
But despite most people knowing this, many still end up with pink skin after spending too long outdoors.
Research shows that around 83 per cent of Brits could be at risk of sunburn this summer due to their bad sunscreen habits.
This is extremely dangerous as doctors have previously warned that even just being sunburned once could result in deadly skin cancer.
Experts say that failing to protect yourself can have a lasting impact.
When it comes to taking care of your skin, Kimberley Hulme, head of clinic at Face the Future said many Brits are making dangerous mistakes.
She warned that just as with other products, your SPF should be replaced on a regular basis.
“SPF becomes less effective over time meaning that it won’t be able to provide your skin with the same level of protection – resulting in a significantly increased risk of sun damage.
“While it might seem like a good idea to keep a bottle of sunscreen in the cupboard for a rare sunny day in the UK, you really do need to be aware of how long the product has been open and when it is set to expire.
“If you aren’t using SPF protection every day, you might not notice subtle changes that might suggest that a product has expired.
Most read in Health
“As a general rule, once opened you should only be using your SPF for a maximum of three months before replacing it.”
The guru explained that there are four key signs to spot if your SPF has expired.
The first she says, is a change in consistency.
“SPF that has expired will have a much more watery consistency so if you notice your sunscreen seems more runny than usual, it’s time to replace,” she said.
The second is a change in appearance, and Kimberly explained that most creams will be white when you first buy them.
But if they are out of date, they may have changed to a yellowish colour.
“You can assume that it is no longer effectively protecting your skin from the sun and should get a new one,” she said.
Kimberly highlighted that if the smell of the product has altered then you should also head out to buy fresh lotions.
The 5 skin cancer red flags you need to look out for
MELANOMA affects an estimated 16,700 people in the UK each year and is the fifth most common type of the illness.
- Change in moles: It’s important to check your moles regularly for any changes that might occur.
- Difference in nails: Melanomas can present as dark spots or streaks under our nails and this might look like someone has painted a brown line down your nail.
- Itching: Persistent itching, can be a red flag when it comes to cancer – especially if it sits alongside other key signs.
- Impaired vision: Ocular melanoma can be difficult to notice until it’s really advanced, and symptoms include blurred vision, discoloured spots and an increased number of floaters – the squiggly lines some of us have in our vision.
- Scaly patches: Dry and scaly skin can often be a sign of a skin condition like eczema. But if it’s a persistent symptom and you don’t suffer from an ailment already, then it could be a sign of skin cancer.
“Finally, if you are experiencing sore or burnt skin after using your sunscreen, and reapplying sufficiently, the SPF is clearly no longer working and should be switched out for a new sunscreen with immediate effect,” the expert added.
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen in hot weather, but Kimberly advised that this needs to be a habit we adopt all year round.
She explained that 80 per cent of rays are able to penetrate through clouds even on the gloomiest of days.
“We would generally recommend using an SPF of at least 30 day to day, looking to up this to SPF 40 or 50 on those hotter summer days.
Read More on The Sun
“However, if you do find yourself being more prone to sunburn or are looking for an SPF the whole family can use then keep this high all year round.
“Be sure to apply your SPF at least half an hour before you venture outside to ensure you are benefiting from maximum sun protection”, she added.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?