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Is suncream really that important?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

So much of what we do now is inside and on screens, and even as adults, we often long for time outside in the fresh air when we are sat inside working!

At NEST we very much promote the importance of outside play throughout childhood.

From having a tiny little baby on a blanket in the shade on the grass watching the trees blow in the wind, to little ones playing with a mud kitchen or making a magic potion/ perfume, to chalking on the patio stones, to older children playing card games with grown ups around the garden table, we know this provokes questions with regards to time in the sun, vitamin D, and sun cream. We spoke with Sarah Dale Aesthetics, Dorchester’s leading skin and laser clinic, to get expert advice with what we should be doing for our little ones, especially now that the weather is improving!

“How many of you grew up spending time in the sun without wearing sun cream? For the majority of us as children, sun cream was something that you begrudgingly allowed Mum to apply when on holiday or perhaps at the beach during the peak of summer. Who doesn't remember catching a sunburn at least once a year? The discussion around sun protection has evolved massively in the last few decades. Whereas it was previously accepted as a fairly optional suggestion, nowadays most parents know the importance of using it throughout the year. Radiation from sunlight is a mutagen, a physical or chemical agent that permanently changes genetic material. These changes in DNA can cause the development of cancerous cells. The World Health Organisation and other medical institutions have determined solar UV as a proven human carcinogen, with research linking it to approximately 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and approximately 86% of melanomas. As you may know, sunlight is needed for the synthesis of vitamin D, a vitamin necessary for bone health and the immune system. Unfortunately, many parents think that using sun protection will lead to Vitamin D deficiency, when in fact the clinical studies show that daily use of sun cream still allows for the maintenance of Vitamin D levels. Experts believe this is because despite careful use of SPF, enough UV rays still reach your skin to allow the synthesis of Vitamin D. When speaking on sun safety, the NHS says to "take extra care to protect babies and children. Their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin, and damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life." We recommend applying sun protection every single day and using SPF50 whenever possible. We suggest Heliocare, a brand endorsed by dermatologists and doctors, that provides a paediatrics range suitable for use from 6 months old, free of declared fragrance allergens, alcohol-free, water-resistant, and suitable for sensitive skin.”

Sarah Dales Aesthetics have kindly offered all NEST reader a special offer on their suncream range for children.

To get the special offer, please pop into Sarah Dale Aesthetics or give them a call on: 01305 250372

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