Sun Protection Tips

Just like sunscreen, O2 has got your back when you go on holiday. Not only do we protect our customers from getting burnt by unwanted roaming costs in Europe, we’re going a step further to help you avoid getting frazzled by the sun. 

Unlike other major networks, we don’t charge extra for EU roaming, up to 25GB. So, when you’re travelling in our Europe Zone, your data, minutes and text allowances will work just like they do at home. That’s not just for summer. It’s all year round. 

 To help raise awareness of the importance of skin protection in the sun, we’ve partnered with Green People and British Skin Foundation who have provided some practical advice for staying protected in the sun this summer.

Pioneering organic skin care brand Green People’s 5 top tips: 

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF rating on your sun cream tube refers to how long it takes skin to burn with sunscreen on versus how long it takes for unprotected skin to burn. The rate at which skin might burn varies, and it’s important to remember that all skin tones are susceptible to sun damage. 

What SPF should I use? 

The higher the SPF you use, the more protected you are against skin-burning UVB rays. SPF15 gives medium protection and shields against 93% of UVB rays, while SPF30 offers high protection and shields against 97% of UVB rays.  

When spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s recommended that you use a high-factor SPF30. It is also advised that people avoid direct sun exposure between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00 when the sun’s harmful rays are strongest. 

How often should you apply sunscreen? 

You should always keep your sun protection topped up. Reapply it every 2-3 hours and always after swimming. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help keep rays off your head and shoulders. 

How long does sunscreen last? 

In general, unopened SPF products have a shelf life of 30 months from the date they are made. Once opened, SPF can lose some of its effectiveness over time. For this reason, it is recommended that you replace your sun lotion every 6 months, especially if it has been left lying in the sun/hot sand or stored in particularly warm conditions. 

The British Skin Foundation is the only UK charity that raises money to fund research into all types of skin diseases, including skin cancer. Below they share their Sun Myths vs Skin Facts. 

Download the PDF

O2’s Sun Case

To mark Skin Cancer Awareness Month, O2 has partnered with The British Skin Foundation and Green People, to merge smartphones with sunscreen and create a limited-edition mobile phone accessory with a built-in 10ml tube of SPF to remind holidaymakers to ‘top up’ their protection while in the sun. 

Whether walking about in the midday sun or needing a top-up by the pool, the Sun Case aims to ensure no one is caught short in an SPF emergency, and as the only major network operator to offer free EU roaming up to 25GB, O2 wants to protect its customers from getting burnt by unwanted roaming costs, whilst educating the general public about the potentially harmful effects of the sun. 

The limited-edition free mobile phone accessory will be available at selected O2 stores across the country from 15 May 2024, while stocks last, including London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast, so people, regardless of their mobile provider, can grab one ahead of holiday season.  

 O2 customers and members of the public can get the free accessory on a first come first serve basis from the following store locations: 

  • London: 120 Oxford St, London W1D 1LT
  • Cardiff: Unit Lg10, St Davids, St Davids Centre, Cardiff CF10 2ER
  • Edinburgh: 129 St James Crescent St James Quarter Edinburgh EH1 3AD Scotland.
  • Belfast: 14-16 Castle Ln, Belfast BT1 5DA
  • Birmingham: 24 New St, Birmingham B2 4RQ
  • Manchester Market St: Unit 5, 39 Market St, Manchester M1 1WR


Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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