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Summer Sunbathing: Our Ultimate Guide to Sun Exposure and Laser Skin Treatments

There is no denying the importance of staying safe in the sun, especially when it comes to your skin. It only takes a few minutes of sun exposure to cause long lasting – and often painful – damage, which is why sun cream should be at the top of your packing list for any beach day.  

Even if you are only sunbathing in your own garden for an hour, you need to be aware of how much sun exposure your skin is getting and the potential damage it can cause.   

Staying safe in the sun is even more important if you are thinking about undergoing laser skin treatments. As laser skin treatments target the top layer of your skin, exposure to direct sunlight should be limited in the weeks leading up to treatment. This is because it can make the skin more sensitive to heat, which could result in the treatment being more painful than usual. It also brings with it the risk of pigmentation, burns and scarring. Therefore, protecting your skin from sun exposure as much as possible before laser skin treatments is recommended.  

How to Protect Your Skin From Sun Exposure 

Sunbathing is an enjoyable way to relax and enjoy the sunshine, whilst topping up your tan. However, properly protecting your skin goes beyond slathering on a bit of sun cream and hoping for the best. There are a number of ways to protect your skin from sun exposure, five of which we have listed below. 

  • Prepare Your Skin Before Sunbathing – If you are sunbathing in the hopes of getting a sun kissed look, you should prepare your skin beforehand. Not only does this increase the chances of you getting a lovely tan, but it helps to protect your skin from sun exposure. You can prepare your skin by exfoliating in the weeks leading up to sunbathing, as well as moisturising after sun exposure. As sunbathing can remove the natural moisture from your skin, topping it up is key. 
  • Use Adequate Sun Cream – A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that sun cream prevents tanning, and they avoid wearing it as a result. However, this is one of the worst things you can do if your skin is being exposed to the sun. Without sun cream you are much more likely to burn, and this can cause significant damage to your skin. Plus, not using sun cream increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.  
  • Take Sun Exposure Breaks – To avoid unnecessarily damaging your skin, take breaks from sunbathing. This will give yourself time away from direct sun exposure. It’s a good idea to have a shaded place nearby, as regular breaks can protect your skin and reduce the chances of burning. It can also help to prevent your skin from drying out, which gives you the best chance of getting a glowing tan. 
  • Sunbathe at the Right Time – Don’t underestimate the importance of sunbathing at the right time, as this can have a significant impact on how your skin reacts to sun exposure. Between the hours of 11am and 3pm, sun exposure will be at its highest. This means it’s often the easiest time to get a tan, but you will be exposing your skin to UV rays when they are at their strongest. This is why it’s often best to sunbathe for longer periods of time, but in the morning or late afternoon. You can enjoy sunbathing and build up a tan, whilst avoiding intense UV rays. 
  • Don’t Skip Skincare After Sunbathing – It’s important to care for your skin after sunbathing, to reduce the amount of damage that the sun exposure has caused. Moisturising is a key part of this and using aloe vera can also help in a big way. Not only does this help to hydrate and protect your skin, but it gives you the best chance of getting a healthy-looking tan. 

Taking Care of Your Skin in the Sun After Laser Skin Treatment 

In order for laser skin treatment to work, you need to think about sun exposure and UV rays. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your skin and hindering results. 

You need to reduce the amount of UV rays your skin is exposed to for around seven to 14 days before and after laser skin treatment. This is to ensure it’s healthy, hydrated and not damaged by the sun.

A lot of people focus on taking care of their skin after laser skin treatment and though this is vital, avoiding the sun beforehand is just as important.  

This also means avoiding sunbathing and sunbeds. If you do not avoid sun exposure, you could risk damaging your skin. Once you have undergone laser skin treatment, you need to give your skin time to heal.

Not only can UV rays slow down the healing process, but they could impact how effective the laser skin treatment is. You will need to avoid sunbathing and spending too much time in the sun. This is because laser skin treatment targets the top layer of your skin, so it will be sensitive and needs time to heal. Sun exposure can hinder this significantly, which is why it’s best to stay out of the sun as much as possible until a specialist deems it okay. 


Though laser skin treatments are highly effective, taking care of your skin before and after treatment is key to their success. Whether you opt for laser skin treatments for thread veins, wrinkles or pigmentation, it’s important to know that taking care of your skin and managing sun exposure can make a considerable difference. For more information on laser skin treatments and to find out which could benefit you, speak to a specialist.