Words by Tianna Williams

Warmer weather is here and we love to soak up the rays. Without a doubt we feel better when we’re in the sun, plus there’s benefits to having a mood boosting health glow and we get vitamin D, which encourages strong bones. The sun is also great for reducing blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, and improving your sleep quality.

However despite the benefits too much sun can potentially damage your eyes, ears, skin and hair, especially when you’re out on the water due to the UV rays being reflected.

They say your health is your wealth, so we’ve put together our best tips to show you what to look out for to avoid sun damage this summer.

Eye care:

On a sunny day we want to be outside, however the sun’s rays can potentially harm your eyes. Experts say that long-term exposure to even small amounts of UV radiation can increase your risk of developing a cataract or macular degeneration which is the gradual loss of central vision.

The easiest way to protect your eyes is by wearing sunglasses with a UV filter, which is usually has a CE mark on them. You should try and wear sunglasses even on a cloudy day. Wearing a hat also helps too! Also keep up to date with eye tests to check up on the health of your eyes. If you have early stage eye damage it’s easier to rectify then before it becomes too advanced.

Hair care:

The sun and the sea can provide ultimate hair goals leaving you with effortless beachy waves and curls. However even though your hair might be looking lovely, saltwater can cause hair to become dry, dull, tangled and sometimes effecting the colour of it as well. Split ends are also common as the salt can strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture.

Here are some easy ways to protect your hair:

  • Rinse with fresh water before- by rinsing your hair before diving into the sea it means your hair will have less capacity to absorb the salty water.
  • Coconut oil – this is a great natural moisturiser and hair protectant. After a surf apply a small amount to the ends of your hair. Leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with shampoo and fresh water.
  • Leave in conditioner- by using a leave in conditioner before or after a surf it helps to lock in the moisture but make sure it is a natural conditioner and not one which contains chemicals that can harm the ocean.
  • Sun cream- to protect your scalp and hair from the UV rays apply a SPF. This will prevent hair from losing its colour. Just make sure it’s reef and eco friendly so you’re not putting nasties into the sea.

Ear care:

The most common ritual that we all seem to do is the universal shaking of our heads trying to get the salty water out of our ears. It seems harmless but having water stuck in your ear provides a great environment for bacteria to grow and cause an infection.

Surfers Ear is a result of water being trapped in your ears repeatedly which causes bony growths on the ear canal which can only be removed surgically. It’s more common for people who surf in cold water. It can lead to decreased hearing and can be quite irritating and painful.

An easy way to reduce the risk of damaging your ears is by wearing ear plugs. These are great way of keeping out the water. SurfEars is a great brand that not only keep out the cold water but also maximise sound, and subsequent balance perfect for water sports.

Skin care:

As mentioned the sun can give you a lovely healthy glow, however too much UV radiation can cause damage to your skin. Also sun exposure without using skin protection can increase ageing and the risk of skin cancer. This can be reduced by wearing suncream with a high SPF applied daily, and reapplying every few hours. Wearing a hat and avoiding the midday sun is also a great way to reduce sun damage to your skin.

By encouraging good habits as part of your daily routine you can bask in the suns benefits, while also staying safe. Enjoy the sunny days!