Teen life: suncare for skin protection

Teen life: suncare for skin protection

Skin cancer is a big yet unexpected danger for young people – tips on how to get them to stay sun-safe.


Now your kids won’t let you do their sun cream for them, how can you get your  teenager to stay sun-wise?




Encouraging your teenager to be skin safe

  • If your teen does not like the oily feel to the sunscreen, experiment with sprays, clear formulas or gel-like lotions.


  • Get your teen a small tube of sunscreen instead of a large bottle – it looks more like part of a make-up regime.
  • Boys might prefer to buy sunscreen from an outdoor sports shop rather than the beauty counter in a chemist.
  • Sunscreen should be put on before any layer of make-up, insect repellent or moisturiser, so that it’s directly on the skin.
  • The first application should go on at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun.


  • Sunscreen is NOT just for holidays! Remind your teen that just being out and about can lead to excessive exposure, especially between 11am and 3pm. 

  • An unwanted sun hat offers no protection sitting in the bottom of a bag. Spend a little extra to get him or her a hat they will be proud to be seen out in.
  • Skin cancer can affect men as much as women, so make sure you’re putting forward good skincare messages to sons as well as daughters.

  • SPF15 should filter out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF50+ can block out up to 98%. The higher the SPF, the more it might cost, so offer to buy it – your teenager might consider it an unnecessary squeeze on his or her allowance.


  • Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Think UVB protection to prevent Burning and UVA protection to prevent Ageing.
  • Don’t spread it on too thinly.


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Savvy tip
Don’t presume darker skin can be exposed to more sunlight. Even if your teen uses a sunless tanner with added sunscreen, they should treat this layer as they would their skin and still apply regular SPF 15+ sunscreen through the day.


Pass it on – tanned skin still needs protection

Cancer Research UK has some great advice on its SunSmart webpages.

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