Gran Canaria is hot and sunny, more so than most European destinations and has one of the highest uv-index rates. That means the sun burns you more intensly here than anywhere else. That can be great during the winter months when you want a relaxing break and top up your tan but once temperatures reach 25C you need to be very careful, here's some tips for those hotter days :-
Did you know - the suns rays reflect off both water and sand, you'll tan much quicker on the beach or by the pool. If you're in the shade on the beach the suns rays can still reach your skin.
Try and sunbathe during the morning or grab the last hour or two in the afternoon. When the temperature hits 30C you should avoid being in the sun.
Never spend more than 20 minutes sunbathing without stopping for a break, 5 or 10 minutes in the shade or at least a swim to cool your body temperature down.
Did you know - the suns rays pass through water. Spending time in the pool every 20 minutes is not protecting you from the sun though it is helping to avoid heat stroke.
Did you know - when sunscreen has expired it can stop working. Check the date!
Apply sun screen every two hours.
Drink water (not beer or sugar drinks) - about half a litre every hour on cooler days but over 25C then a litre for every hour spent lying in the sun.
Less than 25C? (IV index 6-9) Sun factor 25 for light skins, sun factor 15-20 average skin types and minimum 15 for darker skins.
More than 25C? (IV index 9-11) Sun factor 35 for light skins, sun factor 20-25 average skin types and minimum 20 for darker skins.
On really hot days when walking around make sure you are well covered up and wear a wide-brim hat. Stay indoors during the early afternoon. There's a "siesta" for a reason especially during the summer (13:00 until 16:30). The shorter your shadow, the more danger you're in from burning.
Are you here for a week or better two weeks? Start slow with maybe an hour in the sun day 1 then 90 minutes day 2 and so on. Ideally you should go even slower but you came here for a tan and you only have a week.
When you're done for the day, apply aloe vera after sun or pure aloe vera gel to sooth and protect your skin from drying out.