How to use sunblock effectively on kids
It’s the season of slip, slop and slap, but care should be taken when considering what to apply and how to apply it. Leading skincare specialist Dr Sharad Paul shares his top ten tips on sunblock.
☀️ 1.Shade for the babes
Avoid sunscreen on babies under six months old – the risks are unknown. The safest protection is to make sure they are well covered and always in the shade.
☀️ 2. A to Zinc
Use sunscreen with zinc in it – this ensures less UV-absorbing chemicals are getting into your child’s skin.
☀️ 3. Go broad
Your sunscreen needs to broad spectrum and provide both UVA and UVB protection.
☀️ 4. Naturally cautious
Be cautious of natural, or organic- sounding sunscreens. Zinc and titanium, which are in normal sunscreens, are naturally occurring. Organic sunscreens tend to have more organic compounds, but they don’t resist UVA and UVB rays as well as zinc and titanium, increasing the risk of sunburn and skin damage.
☀️ 5. Say no to bergamot
Do not use sunscreens which have bergamot in them, as it is linked to pigmentation and dermatitis.
☀️ 6. Spread it, don’t spray it
Spray sunscreens are best avoided. They typically need four layers to be effective and it is hard to tell if you have done this when it is invisible. If applying it outside, the wind also makes it hard to tell how much you have applied.
☀️ 7. Take a shot
Always use a sunscreen that is at least SPF30. And you need more than you think! About a shot glass worth is required to provide adequate protection for exposed areas of skin.
☀️ 8. Skin tone matters
Children with dark skin shouldn’t have too much sunscreen early on in their childhood. Their skin needs to learn how to tan, and there is emerging research showing sunscreen can prevent this.
☀️ 9. Self care
Teach children how to put on sunscreen before they go to school, so you know they are applying it properly at breaks.
☀️ 10. Burn care
Treat sunburn like a normal burn. Hold sunburnt skin under cold water for five minutes, moisturise and offer pain medication.
Dr Sharad Paul is a world-leading skin cancer expert based in west Auckland. He is a skin cancer doctor, academic and surgical consultant. Since his practice opened in 1996, they’ve performed over 46,000 skin cancer surgeries – one of the largest totals of any clinic in the world. He has one daughter, now at university, and in his spare time he teaches creative writing to primary school students.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 40 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW