Mind your moles - expert tips for staying protected as the temperature rises
It's getting hot out there.
As Europe experiences another mini-heatwave, with temperatures in Ireland soaring to 26 degrees this week, it's important that we take some necessary precautions before ultimately stripping off and basking in the sun.
Although delightful, when it comes to staying safe in the sun we often forget the importance of minding our skin against its powerful rays.
According to statistics from The Irish Cancer Society, the current number of skin cancer cases are expected to double by 2045 and so, it's important that we take precautions now rather than later.
As Boots has just launched a new mole checking service in 17 stores nationwide, pharmacist Heather Feeney has shared some advice on protecting both your skin and your moles.
"Our rule of thumb in the sun is that with any sensitve area of your skin, it's best to keep it covered" says Heather.
"Covering sensitve areas is very important and if it's not feasible with the outfit you're wearing we'd always recommend that you use factor 50 with a high rating. There's different star ratings of SPF so make sure it has a five star rating so you're well protected and it covers you against UVA and UVB."
And with moles, Heather notes that if possible, it's best to always keep them covered and to keep a close eye on them for any change.
"Best to keep them covered with close woven fabrics as opposed to anything too mesh but, if you can't, then definitely a good suncream like previously mentioned."
But it's not just in the height of the heatwave we should be minding our skin, as Heather noted that from April to September the UV index can often be above three.
The UV index can be checked on Met Eireann and it highlights when your skin is most at risk to strong UV rays. When the index is above three you should be wearing SPF and as a rule of thumb, trying to avoid being out in the sun for too long between 11am and 3pm.
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Heather also noted that although Irish skin burns easily due to the fact it's predominately pale and freckly, getting a tan is also sun damage too.
Now, as there are so many different options for getting a bronzed base, Heather advises to play it safe and get your glow from a bottle or by booking a spray tan if you want to go down that route.
Lastly, when it comes to being out in the sun, Heather noted that having SPF, after sun and a hydrating serum are all key products to make sure you're protecting the skin that's with you for life.
Heading on holidays? You can find out more about the products you need by popping into your local Boots store where they'll be happy to advise you.
The Irish Cancer Society also has a sun smart code with a handy list of rules to follow for keeping your skin safe when you're going out in the sun. You can check that out here.