My family and I are currently on holiday enjoying the Californian sun. As a dermatologist it is of course very important that I practice what I preach; my entire family are more than aware of this too!

The Surgeon General of the United States is America’s leading ‘spokesman’ on public health matters, and recently highlighted the increase in cases of melanoma caused by sun exposure and tanning beds.  With this I mind I continue to stress that sunscreen is only part of your protection package against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

My constant reminders have worked with my family and I am pleased to see that they all remember their sun hats, sun cream and protective clothing each day. The safest way to get your Vitamin D is by taking oral supplements which should be part of your protection package. As a family we take Vitamin D3 as a daily 1,000 unit supplement; our bodies need Vitamin D in order to keep our bones strong and healthy, as well as support the immune system.

Avoiding the midday sun is something that many of us don’t consider as ‘protection’ but the lunchtime rays are particularly strong and powerful; if you can avoid sun exposure at this time, then it is advisable to do so.

I have recently spoken about child skincare during summer but, as parents, don’t forget that whilst it is important to protect your children from harmful rays…you need protection too.  It does not take long to protect ourselves but it can help to prevent from visibly ageing.

Enjoy the sun, whether you are abroad or in the UK, but remember that sun protection doesn’t begin and end with a bottle of sun cream.