Although the recent cold spell and April showers have put a stop to our plans to go out in our spring wardrobe, it is still important to ensure we protect our skin against the damage posed by UVA and UVB rays produced by the sun.

Louise Thomas-Minns, skin therapist and founder of, said that as well as speeding up the ageing process, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer.

"I get very cross when even now, with all of the knowledge available to us, we still have this obsession with getting a tan. A tanned skin is an unhealthy skin," she commented.

"You should be using a sunscreen with a maximum factor of 30 since, if you are using a product with titanium or zinc oxide, this will give you the best, broadest spectrum of protection against both UVA and UVB. It’s also more beneficial if your sunscreen contains antioxidants too. Look out for those with vitamin E or the super-charged antioxidant Idebenone."

Other herbal oils and solutions are said to be good for treating sunburn if you do forget to apply sunscreen before going out. Turmeric in particular is used to calm reddened skin and can be applied topically as a powder or paste, or else stirred into warm water or milk and drunk as a tincture.

Turmeric contains antioxidants that fight against the damage caused to skin cells by free radicals. The spice is also used as a natural antiseptic and may help minor cuts, bruises and burns to heal faster when applied to the affected area.

Other herbal remedies for sunburnt skin include aloe vera, which cools and soothes painful skin. The juice of the plant also boasts eight essential amino acids that our body cannot produce naturally, so it is a useful product to keep in the bathroom cabinet.

Posted by Laura Andrews