The summer is here in Malaga. Over the next few months we will continue to have very high temperatures in the province of Andalucía; here are some tips for enjoying the sun without suffering afterwards the unpleasant side effects.

Most foreigners, who visit Spain in the high season are here to  enjoy the summer weather at the beach and also acquire a nice tan, which causes most of them to stay for hours under a blazing sun with skin which is totally  unaccustomed .

Get Protected

Get Protected, people with fair skin and children will burn very easily so it advisable to get a high protection sun cream or sun block between 30 to 50 its best to apply before entering the sun. Select an appropriate sunscreen. Check the SPF level of your sunscreen. The SPF, or "sun protection factor" number, contrary to popular belief, does not signify how strong the SPF is. It tells you how long it will keep you protected––theoretically. For example, it is calculated by how many minutes it would normally take for your skin to burn multiplied by the number that tells you how long it should last. If you burn easily though, you should reapply often, say every few hours, or more often. So, if you burn in 10 minutes of sun exposure without any protection, SPF 30 will keep you protected for 300 minutes (in theory!). Moreover, do not fall for a false sense of security that wearing sunscreen (no matter how high it’s SPF) allows you to stay outdoors without taking other precautions, such as wearing adequate clothing, keeping to the shade and staying out of the sun during the hottest time of the day. Sunscreen is only one factor in your overall approach to protecting yourself in the sun.

  • Keep in mind that SPF is not cumulative. Applying one SPF 15 sunscreen and another SPF 20 sunscreen may give you slightly better coverage, but it does not add up to SPF 35.
  • 30+ is adequate for beach and pool use. It is not recommended to use higher SPF formulas because they give a false sense of security in the sun and a higher dose of chemicals on your skin.
  • The word "sunblock" is a misnomer. Sunscreen slows the effects of the sun on skin by absorbing, reflecting, and scattering UV rays, but it doesn't “block” (or stop) them.

Be careful about what is in your sunscreen. Some chemicals are allergens, potential hormone disruptors or just plain unnecessary. Here are some key ones to watch for:

  • Look for a PABA-free sunscreen. Para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, was used in sunscreens for a long time, but it can stain clothing and cause an allergic reaction in some people.
  • Avoid sunscreens containing vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). The FDA has warned that this may make your skin photocarcinogenic, namely, skin covered in it is at greater risk of turning cancerous when exposed to sunlight.
  • Avoid sunscreens with added insect repellent. Choose a sunscreen because it protects you from the sun; choose a different product for insect repelling.

Choose a water-resistant sunscreen, if you're going to be swimming or sweating a lot.

No sunscreen is truly waterproof, so you should reapply the sunscreen frequently, according to package instructions.

Choose a sunscreen format that suits you. If you dislike wearing sunscreen so much that you don't wear it, it won't do you any good. Wearing sunscreen need not be unpleasant, so try different sunscreen brands and styles to find the one(s) that are best suited for you. There is a wide variety of sunscreen formats available and it can be a challenge to know what works best. Some of this will be trial and error; however, it is noted that experts consider the cream format to be the most useful. Some things to bear in mind include:

  • Some daily sunscreens aren't as gooey or smelly as some of the heavy-duty outdoor sport formulations.
  • Some sunscreens come in spray-on, roll-on, powder and stick formats. You may wish to avoid sunscreens that are sprayed on or come in a powder form, to avoid the risk of inhalation of the chemical contents.
  • Some sunscreens come with built-in insect repellent. As stated earlier, it's recommended to avoid these.
  • Some sunscreens even temporarily turn your skin a different colour!
  • Smell is no indicator of effectiveness or safety of the sunscreen.
  • For those who wear moisturizer, many daily moisturizers contain sunscreen protection. However, this is minimal protection and should not be relied on if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors.

Applying Sunscreen

Put the sunscreen on the most vulnerable areas of your body––the entire face and forehead, especially the nose and tips of ears, back of the neck, backs of knees, and arms. Make sure to cover all skin that will be exposed. Don't forget the tops of feet, if you're wearing sandals - sunburned feet can be very sore!

  • Don't just grease it on. Put a little on and rub it in. Then do it again and again, until you have a deep, penetrating layer of sunscreen. do it right and you won't notice it at all and it will truly protect.
  • Have a friend help with hard-to-reach spots like backs and shoulders.

Cover up. Light layers of clothing work best, in light colours which reflect heat, rather than dark ones, which absorb it. Try a shell or tank top, and then wear a light camp shirt open over that. Natural fibres like cotton are coolest.

  • Wear light-colour, loose fitting clothing. It will keep you cooler and help prevent sunburn by reflecting the sunlight. Be aware, though, that clothing may not block sunlight completely. In fact, an ordinary t-shirt may only be the equivalent of SPF 5. Look for clothing designed to block sun, even up to SPF 50, if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • A lot of clothing, especially that from outdoor activity stores, will carry a label indicating the UV protection level of the clothing. Use this as a guide in choosing your layers of clothing.

If you want to get a head GET A HAT

Choose a hat with at least a 3-inch (8 cm) brim all around. A hat will also help to keep you cool.

  • Baseball caps leave the ears and neck exposed, so they're not the best choice for sun protection.
  • A hat will also help to protect your eyes from glare.

Protect your eyes

Choose sunglasses that block UV light and wrap around to block light from the side, too. If you're not sure whether your old sunglasses adequately block UV, ask an optometrist to have them checked. Long term exposure to UV light can lead to cataracts. Wear sunglasses in conjunction with a hat.

Avoid exposure to sunlight during midday between 12 and 4 pm and use additional devices such as a hat, sunglasses and parasols. If you are near a beach bar with parasols as  fabric umbrellas penetrates over 30% of ultraviolet radiation. Apply cream again after each time your swim. Above all, do not underestimate the sun.

Before leaving your accommodation close all the windows and draw shades to keep the rooms cool.

Drink lots of water.

Never leave children, elderly, or animals in parked cars with the windows closed.

We hope you have a safe time in the summer sun.