Slip, Slop, Slap” was the motto of a sun protection campaign that was launched in Australia and New Zealand back in the 1980s. The catchy slogan reminded people to slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat before stepping out of the house. It’s advice that rings true even three decades later, and advice Dr Marian Coutinho, a dermatologist at Kaya Skin Clinic, Al Karamah, also believes in and imparts to all her patients today.
So what are her tips for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful ways?
Dr Coutinho suggests using a sunscreen with an SPF between 50-100 if you’re going to be out for a while, but only after smearing on a layer of moisturiser. “Our skin gets dry and dehydrated when we’re out in the sun and so it is essential that you apply a layer of moisturiser first.”
Pick a product that is lighter and less greasy than the moisturiser you turn to during winter. Then, slap on some sunscreen about 20 minutes before you head out the door. The doctor adds: “If you’re going to be spending more than a couple of hours in the sun, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours.”
While you’re out…
…drink, drink, drink water. Fill up with at least eight to ten glasses to stay hydrated and prevent a heatstroke. “Coconut water also does a good job of replenishing salts and potassium.”
Dr Coutinho also suggests wearing sunglasses, loose clothes, a sun hat and using an umbrella, especially if you’re out between 10am and 4pm. “That’s when the UV light is strongest.”
Keep it clean
Once you’re back from your time in the sun, the first thing to do is wash away the dirt and oil build-up. Take a cool bath to, well, cool down. “If there is any mild irritation or rash, apply either calamine lotion or aloe vera gel to soothe your skin and prevent inflammation.” It doesn’t have to be a cruel summer...