Sun can be rare in the UK so when it does shine, the temptation is to spend hours sitting and frying in it. But spending time in the shade is beneficial – and here’s why.
National ‘Stay of the Sun Day’ on July 3rd is not about dampening the summer party but a timely reminder about treating time in the sun with caution.
And this year, it is more important than ever. The heat wave most of us are currently enjoying – there are many people who wilt in such high temperatures! – is intense.
Sitting out in 24° daytime temperatures can soon damage the skin and yet, we see photos of people wandering around with their skin exposed.
Even though we all know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun, it is a lesson easily lost when the sun is shining.
Spending time in the shade gives our skin a rest from the blistering heat of the sun, and this has many benefits.
Gives your skin a rest
The sun may feel lovely and warm on your skin but the heat is drying it out. Even staying hydrated and slathering on lotion and creams will not put back all the moisture that the sun wicks away from it very quickly.
Time spent in the shade lets your skin repair itself, and when you have a cool drink by your side, you are giving it an extra boost.
Helps your hair
The sun doesn’t just dry out your skin but your hair too;
- Sunburnt scalp – it is not uncommon to burn your scalp, which can be incredibly sore
- Brittle hair – dry hair is brittle, more so if your colour your hair
- Fading colour – sun bleaches your hair colour too, whether you dye it or not
Sitting in the shade for a few hours also helps out our eyes. As well as heat and the glare of the sun having an impact, our eyes can become dry too.
As well as wearing shades in bright sunshine, considering using a moisturiser spray specifically for eyes.
Stops your skin from being damaged
Damaging your skin can lead to all kinds of problems, skin cancer is one of them, but brown spots and visible red veins can also be the result.
Visible around the mouth and nose, these small veins are a sure sign that your skin is sun damaged. Even though sitting in the shade won’t reverse the damage, it will stop it from getting worse.
Helps avoid heat rash
There you, sat on your garden bench desperate to get to the end of your novel whilst enjoying the sun, only to find that you do nothing but itch!
Heat rashes and sunspots are very itchy, leading to an unsightly rash and if you do scratch it, unsightly scratch marks too.
Heat rash can happen even when you don’t sit in the sun and is caused by sudden exposure to heat and the sun.
As well as soothing lotion, relocate garden and banana benches to the shade for optimum enjoyment.
Prevents chapped lips
Is there anything more irritating than chapped lips? Dry and uncomfortable, very dry lips can crack becoming incredibly sore.
Sitting in the shade is one part of the treatment, as is using a heavy moisturiser on the lips. A barrier lip balm that is oil based can also help soothe the discomfort and rehydrate the lips. Make sure you increase your hydration levels too.
Reduces the appearance of brown spots
New freckles and dark spots are all caused by exposure to the sun. and the older you get – deep breath in! - the more you will probably find. Caused by UV in the sunlight, covering up is important as well as using a sun cream, as well as spending time in the shade.
Keeps sun fatigue and sunstroke
Both of these are very draining and so time in the shade can prevent both from happening. Having a nap in the shade is great for when the sun had worn you out but sunstroke is a different thing entirely.
Sunstroke is excessive heat exhaustion and can be fatal, especially if you don’t get help medical quick enough. The best course of action is to avoid it in the first place.
And finally, if you want to avoid excessive wrinkles, then the sun is not your best friend. Sun cream is essential, as is staying hydrated and using a good quality moisturising – but staying out the sun to spend time in the shade is also essential.