The damage the sun can do in 90 minutes...
We'll be hoping for 90 minutes of glory from the boys in green in Gdansk tonight, but if you don't take care 90 minutes in the sun can do a whole lot of damage.
Lads, it may be summer and it may just be the only time our pasty white skin gets any exposure but you can't just go throwing off the t-shirt willy-nilly you know.
If you're planning on whipping out the old milk bottles to watch the Euros in the beer garden armed with only a pint then you had better think again. While the best footballers in Europe are out in the open for 90 minutes every day at the moment, if you spend that time under the sun without any protection is incredibly dangerous.
You can damage your eyes with the UV rays, make yourself look years older or even give yourself skin cancer. It's not a list that makes great reading.
Thankfully the guys at La Roche-Posay - the folk behind the SOS Save Our Skin campaign, which aims to reduce the occurrences of skin cancer in Ireland - have some helpful tips to avoid all the bag stuff and still enjoy the summer sun - on the occasions it bothers to show itself.
To give you a Baz Luhrmann-esque tip, wear sunscreen! Or, to be as precise as we can, wear sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection such as the La Roche-Posay Anthelios range! The rest of their advice isn't quite as varied as the Aussie's song lyrics, but they're just as wise nonetheless.
- We only need 10 minutes in the sun a day to the face and hands to absorb enough Vitamin D, so bare-chested strolls through the park aren't required... at all!
- Even in those 10 minutes, though, you need to be protected from the damage the sun can do to your fragile Irish skin. You need suncream with an SPF of 30 or higher with a high UVA protection.
The science behind all this is pretty scary. Both UVA and UVB rays penetrate and damage your skin cells and this shows up as a suntan (or more likely, in the case of us Irish lads, as sunburn). Repeated failure to lather on the sunscreen can lead to skin cancers, even in your 20s.
Other handy tips are to stay out of the sun when it's at it hottest (that's between 11am and 3pm, so luckily that means your beer garden sojourn for Euro 2012 should be at a time when the sun's rays are a whole lot weaker), and to wear wraparound sunglasses to fully protect your eyes.
So there you have it fellas. Follow these few simple steps and a whole lot of eye problems, wrinkles, skin spots, and skin cancers can all be avoided.