Jennifer, 39, shares her story about how her habits changed over the years, from sun worshipper with regular burns to cautious mum.
Tell us about your background?
I’ve always been pretty bad with taking care of myself in the sun. I grew up in a generation where we worshipped the sun, and as soon as it came out, the idea was to get a tan and make the most of it. Of course we knew that getting burned wasn’t a good idea but at the same time, we didn’t really know how to manage our time in the sun. I suppose we were lacking in information, or perhaps a tan was just more important?
What made you change your habits?
After a family relative was diagnosed with a melanoma, I suddenly realised how important it was. Another wakeup call was becoming a mum, it made me see how I really had to take care of my kids when they are in the sun, and of myself to be around for them, in the long run.
How do you manage your sun time now?
Although we don’t stay out of the sun so much, we always make sure we wear sunscreen. Usually I apply it 20minutes before we go outside… I read that gets you the best coverage. I used to go for an SPF 30 but now I hear that even with that, it’s best to go higher, so I take an SPF 50 that we all share. It’s La Roche Posay’s ANTHELIOS XL Ultra-Light Fluid.
We also tend to stay inside during the hottest hours, and that’s easy because we like to have a nap after lunch!
How often do you reapply?
The funny thing is, I used to reapply only once in the afternoon. At the beach, for example, I put on the SPF once in the morning and once after lunch. But now I realise how important it is, I’ve got the UV patch and app. It’s really fun and teaches the kids about ‘sun safe’ facts too. My daughter loves the heart shaped sticker. I scan it with the phone and it tells me when to reapply – it beeps at me so I don’t forget, which is great, because sometimes I lose track of time! It’s really handy and my kids think it’s a game so it keeps them busy too. Win, win!