Now I know you're thinking but bear with me. Yes sunscreen and Ireland are two words which belong in the same sentence! But what about the near constant overcast weather we get here, I hear you ask, surely I don't need to use sunscreen on cloudy days? Well, actually the days when you can't see the sun are some of the most dangerous for getting burnt. You might stay out in the water for hours and jump back in for another session without giving a second thought to all those freckles that are magically appearing at a rapid rate.
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in Ireland? We also have one of the highest mortality rates from melanoma in Europe, with 159 deaths annually on average from the disease, according to figures from the Irish Cancer Society.
It might seem odd that a country such as ours, where the weather rarely feels like it warrants putting a layer of sunscreen on your face, that we have such a problem with skin cancer. But contrary to what you might think, even cloudy skies can have a terrible affect on your skin if it’s not properly protected. Even though visible rays may be blocked by an overcast sky, the sun’s UV rays are always present and they’re the ones that cause damage. So although it could be dull and cloudy outside, your skin will feel the effects and investing in a good sunscreen should be top of your to-do list.
Of course no amount of UV filter will protect you fully, nothing beats staying out of the midday sun and physically covering the skin with clothing and a hat. But some days the conditions are too good and you have to stay out all day til you're stoked and sore.
Below is one of those days...