When I pre-booked my extra early bird to BritMums Live last July (yes, I was that organised!), I decided that I would not really try to hard to find a sponsor for this year’s event. You can imagine my very pleasant surprise when Boots UK approached me to say that they would like to be my sponsor this year. I have always loved Boots. I used to work for them in my late teens on the record counter in their Woking store and, from my experience, I knew they treated their staff very well. This point was proved when I met the Sun Care Team and heard how long they had been working for Boots.
On the Friday morning of BritMums Live, I met up with the Boots team at The Folly in London for brunch along with 5 fellow bloggers and to discuss the advice they had for protecting yourself this summer in all forms – from skincare to insect repellents to eyecare – and I was surprised at how much I learned.
We sat around a large table in a beautiful private room and we were served pastries, granola and bacon sandwiches and we sat and we chatted all things sun-related. I have to admit that I thought it was going to be a little bit boring but this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I have never really been a big sun worshipper – well, sun-bather anyway. I am too restless. I would much rather be out and about looking at things but this doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t wear sun protection. I am lucky in the fact that I don’t burn and only get a slight tan. This doesn’t mean that I am not being affected by the sun’s rays though. Thankfully, I don’t think it is too late for me and, of course, I realised that the lack of sun can also be a problem. Seeking more Vitamin D this week I have walked outside regularly – protected of course!
This has also helped me be a better mother. I have always ensured that I have sent Grace to school with sun lotion on at the beginning of the day and trusted her to put more on during the day. When Boots showed us their Soltan Once for Kids which protects them for up to 8 hours it was a relief to know that, if she forgets, the protection continues. I have used this every day since.
Grace has regularly suffered from heat rash and has become quite distressed by it in the past. When I asked the Boots Pharmacist about this she explained that I could use burns gel to help cool the skin down and stop the itching.
The other thing that Grace is susceptible to is insect bites. For some reason they seem to see her and think ‘dinner’! Apparently it seems to be down to blood type but forget all the tips to eat specific types of food – it doesn’t work! I shall be using repellent far more regularly now though.
This last week I have found the tips from Boots invaluable. I knew that it was important to wear suncream and I understood the basics of insect repellent but I was amazed at what I didn’t know.
From the Pharmacy
- Insect repellents can help keep mosquito bites at bay by affecting their ‘internal landing gear’. The repellent disorientates the insect, preventing it from landing on you and causing it to fly away – keeping you bite-free.
- Chewing gum can relieve an itchy pallet – a common hay fever symptom? Or that oral antihistamines alone will only really help relive those with the mildest intermittent symptoms?
- Nasal sprays are the best first line of defence if your symptoms are more severe, so speak to your pharmacist to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance of staying on top this season.
- Vitamin D is important. Ever wondered why your nails seem to grow faster in the summer? Evidence shows we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to sunlight which tends to cause faster nail growth. I have started taking short walks outside regularly to benefit from this.
- Allergy relief. As the days get warmer and more flowers open, more pollen is released – which then falls with the cooling air at the end of the day. So to help get a good night’s sleep, make sure you have taken allergy relief to help keep symptoms at bay during the night.
- Wearing a t-shirt provides UV protection but only when it’s dry – once it becomes wet it turns opaque so swimming in a t-shirt offers no protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Sand, concrete and even grass all reflect UV but if any of these surfaces become wet the amount reflected can double.
- The effects of the sun are cumulative, so if you burn an area of skin, it will be more sensitive to burning next year…to achieve an even tan, protection is essential from the first day..
- Around three tablespoons of suncream is enough to cover your whole body. But be careful not to over rub your lotion! If suncream starts to ball up you’ve rubbed too hard so remove any residue and smooth on a new layer – more gently!
- Heat rash – if you suffer from this then use a burns gel to help cool your skin down
- 40% of UV exposure occurs when you’re not in direct sunlight, always ensure you are protected by applying suncream before you leave the house.
- Children’s eyes have larger pupils and clearer lenses so are more susceptible to sun damage – 80% of the eye’s lifetime exposure to UV light is reached before the age of 18.
- UV rays bounce off glass screens, so remember while the surface of your smart phone may be small, as you are holding it close to your eyes you are increasing your exposure to this reflection.
- Sunglasses. Your eyes are ten times more sensitive to UV damage than your skin, so protecting them both in and out of the water is vitally important.
- Lenses with darker tints don’t necessarily offer more protection as even glasses with clear lenses can offer UV protection. Dark lenses which don’t offer a sufficient level of UV protection can be more damaging because they cause the eye’s pupils to dilate and let in more light.
- In the morning and evening your eyes can also absorb light from reflective surfaces such as white buildings, wet surfaces and smart phones – even when the sun isn’t out. All Boots Opticians lenses have all round protection from UV on both sides of the lens as standard.
I shall be writing more about my BritMums Live experience soon – you can tell I am behind! – plus I am going to be having a #SummerGoodTimes experience courtesy of Boots shortly so I will be sharing that with you too.
With so many thanks to Boots UK for covering my visit to BritMums Live 2015.
For more advice please visit the Boots Web page
And my fellow bloggers
Style Me Sunday