9 facts to help you avoid sunburn

  • Apply about two tablespoons of sunscreen to cover your entire body; reapply every two hours, and after sweating or swimming.
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm with a minimum SPF of 15.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside, to allow time for your skin to absorb it.
  • Sand can reflect up to 25 per cent of UV rays, and water, up to 100 per cent, depending on the sun’s angle.
  • Water-resistant sunscreens are effective for up to 40 minutes in the water; waterproof products last twice as long.
  • Shade can reduce UV by 50 per cent.
  • Up to 80 per cent of UV rays can reach you through clouds, mist, or fog.
  • Ordinary car windows can block about 97 per cent of UVB rays (but most UVA rays still get through).
  • UV strength increases by four per cent for every 300-metre increase in altitude (higher altitude = thinner atmosphere = more UV penetration = don’t suntan on Mount Everest).