The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) has published a decalogue of general recommendations that seeks to promote safe sun exposure and promote the proper use of cosmetics.
The sun is essential for life. It intervenes in different physiological processes of the human being, as in the synthesis of vitamin D, and also, it improves some skin diseases. But it also has negative health effects that can derive either from intense exposure (skin burns and eye injuries), or from chronic exposure (aging, spots and skin cancer). Especially harmful exposures are unprotected in children and youth ages, which are related to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Aware of the aforementioned risks, the AEMPS, attached to the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, insists on a decalogue of general recommendations that seeks to promote safe solar exposure and promote the proper use of cosmetics:
1. Excessive exposure to the sun is a major health hazard. No sunscreen offers total protection against the risks derived from solar radiation. Even if you use a high protection factor, you should not stay in the sun for a long time.
2. Avoid sun exposure between 12 and 16 hours. Try not to fall asleep in the sun and extreme protective measures in outdoor activities.
3. Do not expose children under the age of three to the sun. Protect them with high-protection Sunscreen Factories (SPFs), hats, goggles, and sunscreens that are special for children and resistant to water. Have them drink water frequently. Keep in mind that during breaks, children can be exposed to the sun, so you should introduce sunscreen into the routine of daily care of the child's skin.
4. Use a sunscreen that protects at least against UVB radiation (often indicated as SPF), which causes sunburn; and UVA (often indicated by the abbreviations UVA framed in a circle), which is primarily responsible for the premature aging of the skin. These two types of radiation also affect the immune system and contribute to the risk of skin cancer.
5. Choose a suitable sunscreen for each type of skin or area of the body (cream, spray, milk or gel), taking into account the skin's phototype (the clearer, the higher the SPF necessary to ensure adequate sun protection ), age and circumstances of sun exposure. Use a higher SPF at the first exposures.
6. Carefully read the product instructions and apply it following the instructions for use, being especially relevant in the case of mist and spray products. Apply the product in a generous and uniform amount on dry skin, half an hour before sun exposure, and repeat every two hours and after perspiring, bathing or drying. Do not use sunscreens that have been open since the previous year.
7. Use caution on the most sensitive parts of the body to the sun: the face, neck, bald head, shoulders, neckline, ears, hands and insteps. The protection of the lips should be done with pencils or photoprotective bars and the hair with specific products.
8. Use sunscreen even on cloudy days. UV radiation is reflected in water, sand, grass and snow, also on cloudy days.
9. Also protect the skin with clothing (shirts and pants), head with hats and eyes with sunglasses, solar radiation. Hydrate by drinking water frequently and apply moisturizer after exposure to the sun.
10. In case of any change in color, shape or size of spots or moles, consult a specialist.
This decalogue is also available on the AEMPS website in a downloadable format of triptych and infographic.
Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare