Over-exposure to the sun can be harmful and the use of sunscreen is one part of “sun safe” behaviour. The good news is that by taking just a few simple precautions, you can enjoy the sunshine safely.

Sun Safety and Sunscreens Factsheet

In this section you can learn about the science behind sunscreens including: 


You can also download our factsheet
'Sun Safety & Sunscreens'


Dr Emma Meredith, Director of Science at CTPA, explains what to look for in a sunscreen

Simple steps to stay sun safe

  • Seek out shade, particularly between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is usually at its most intense
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat when in the sun and wear a good pair of sunglasses
  • Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun and re-apply every couple of hours throughout the day – you will need about a golf-ball-sized amount of cream for each application
  • Remember to re-apply when you emerge from cooling off in the water
  • Never use sunscreen to extend the time you would normally spend in the sun
  • Drink plenty of water, particularly in hot weather. Keeping your water intake up prevents dehydration and maintains a healthy bladder and kidneys; a healthy body helps to support healthy skin

Over-exposure to the sun is dangerous and can cause sunburn or heatstroke. Your skin will be hot, red, blistered, painful and swollen and you may have a severe headache or feelings of nausea. Get out of the sun, keep the skin cool, drink plenty of water and seek professional medical advice as soon as possible.

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