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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 16 January 2021

Here is how much sun cream you need to not get burnt

The Health Products Regulatory Authority have given some guidelines on staying safe in the sun.

CONSUMERS ARE BEING advised to increase their awareness when it comes to how they apply sun cream. 

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has warned that people need to do more than just check a sun cream’s factor to make sure their skin is safe.

Other things that need to be looked at include whether a product is past it safe usage date, ensuring that UVA protection is included in the product and making sure that the correct amount of cream is applied.

sun cream info graphic

How much is the right amount? 

The HPRA are giving a guide relative to the age of the person wearing the sun cream.

For a child aged between two and 13 – parents should use somewhere between two and five teaspoons of sun cream. This works out roughly as two teaspoons for a two-year-old; three teaspoons for a five-year-old; four teaspoons for a nine-year-old and; five teaspoons for the 13-year-old.

However, the agency is clear that the size and weight of the child are factors to be considered, and it is not a rigid scale.

For adults the advice is to apply at least six teaspoons of sun cream to ensure protection.

What else do you need to know?

Consumers are advised to apply sun cream at least 20 minutes before being exposed to the sun and then to reapply it every two hours after that.

On bottles of sun cream there is usually a mark that indicates how long after it has been open it is still safe to use. For example if a bottle says ’24M’, this means it is safe to use for 24 months after being opened.

Rather than just using the highest factor sun cream, the HPRA advises people to chose one that is appropriate for their skin type.

The ‘Sun Protection Factor’ (SPF) on sun creams ranges from low (6 to 10 SPF) to very high (50+ SPF).

Read: Just in time for summer: A bikini that tells you when to apply more sunscreen

Also: Two leading suncreams are not protecting you as much as they say

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