According to the BBC, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has stated that there is no safe or healthy ways to gain a tan from sunlight. Furthermore, the latest information also warns that an already established tan is unlikely to offer any real protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
At minimum an SPF15 sun cream or lotion is advised, and it is recommended for adults to apply 6-8 teaspoons for each application. Hollywood star Hugh Jackman recently disclosed his experience with skin cancer, of which involved having several cancerous growths removed from his face. The Australian born actor posted a message on social media warning people to get checked regularly and to always wear sun cream.
That said, there is a balance to be had, due to the rise in the disease Rickets, of which occurs form a lack of vitamin D (gained from the sunshine). NICE clearly state that it is not possible to acquire vitamin D by simply sitting by a window neither is it likely we can get enough of this vitamin from the sunshine in winter months. However, It is recommended that we spend very short periods in very hot sun, regularly apply and SPF and seek shady spots.
If you live in the UK (particularly Scotland) there is no need to panic just yet!
Nice do state that younger children, people with fair skin, and those who have a family history of skin cancer ought to be more cautious in the sun and opt for a higher SPF sun cream. Additionally people are advised to keep babies less than 6 months out of direct rays from the sun.
NICE has said that although wearing a sun cream that contains a higher SPF may provide more protection, it does not mean you have carte blanche to spend longer periods in the sun without risk of burning.