Phew, it’s been a scorcher recently, and with the easing of the lockdown, plenty of people have been taking advantage of the freedom to meet up with friends in the park, and get a bit of sunshine after spending the majority of the past 18 months cooped up inside.

But we’re not always as diligent with the SPF as we should be, and sunburn, as well as being dangerous, is painful, and many people will be looking for ways to help ease the irritation of lobster-red skin.

For a lot of people, it means heading for a cold shower, but experts are warning sun worshipers that this could be doing more harm than good for your skin, and depending on where you live in the UK, and how hard your water is, the risk of damaging your skin varies.

Specific minerals in water can damage dry skin, and make it even drier, reducing the strength of the skin barrier, and make your sunburn even worse. It is down to magnesium and calcium, which is more prevalent in areas of the UK with high levels of porous ground, such as limestone or chalk.

Hard water in these areas will disrupt the skin barrier, creating a weakness in its protective functions, sapping the skin of its moisture. When this is paired with swollen skin cells from UV damage, and you will have very painful, sore, and itchy skin.

Over half of UK households have hard water coming out of their showers, with Ipswich, Norwich and Sunderland having the highest levels across the UK.

Thankfully there are other ways to ease sunburn than heading for a cold shower, but preventing it with a high SPF is always going to be the best option. Always remember to stay safe in the sun!


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