We all know that the sun is bad for us but when it comes to the delicate skin of our kids, it’s even more important to be careful and sensible in the sun. I recently stocked up on all my SPF lotions and potions before heading off to the heat of Dubai – and am now armed and ready for any (here’s hoping) heat waves heading our way in the UK. Here are a few sun care tips I use to ensure my girls are always safe in the sun.
First of all, any sun tan lotions and sprays you have left over from last year need to go to the bin. I know it seems wasteful but believe me, these products don’t last!
When it comes to the children, I never go under factor 50. Their skin is so young and fragile and I want to teach them the importance of sun protection from a young age. I grew up thinking that getting a tan was desirable but these days we know that being sensible and healthy is far more important.
On holidays children will of course play in the water and sand, which will rub off any trace of sun tan lotion in a few hours. To be safe, I always reapply any SPF after two to three hours. We often use lotions from the Soltan Kids (£6) range, they’re brilliant for active kids who enjoy running in and out of the water. Also, they’re slightly more robust than other lotions, making them perfect for days at the beach or by the pool.
Did you know that there are two different types of sun tan lotions? There are “chemical” ones and “mineral” ones. The key difference is that a chemical SPF is absorbed into the skin, while a mineral SPF will sit on the skin’s surface, forming a barrier to deflect the sun’s rays. I’d say the mineral formulas are better for kids, especially those with eczema or sensitive skin – as the active ingredients are not absorbed into the skin itself. My favourite mineral formulas are Clarins Sun Care Milk for Children 100% Mineral Screen 50+ (£21), which is a brilliant spray lotion and worth every penny! And La Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids SPF50+(£11), which is what I’ve been using on little Iris this year.
I know from experience that it can be difficult to top up the kids’ sunscreen throughout the day, especially when they’d rather be running around having fun and playing games. For these occasions I keep a bottle of Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Anti-Sand Spray SPF50+ to hand so that I can quickly reapply a new layer of sun protection on their skin in a matter of moments. I wouldn’t use this as my first layer of protection because I don’t feel like it gives a good base layer of protection but it does a great job later in the day when you need a quick top-up. It’s a mist spray that’s incredibly light and easy to rub in. Sun creams have come along way from the thick lotion I remember from my childhood and this one is incredible!
I hope you’ve found this useful and please let me know if you have any of your own helpful sun care tips.