Be sun smart with these seven simple tips
Simple yet effective, these are the easy ways you can protect your skin from the sun’s harshest rays.
Australians of all ages continue to ignore sun safety guidelines, increasing the risk of premature ageing, sun damage and deadliest of them all – skin cancer. But it’s never too late to become sun smart.
We have you covered with our top seven tips.
It’s not skin deep
Protective clothing is one of the best barriers you can put between yourself and UV rays. Try to cover as much skin as possible and choose clothing with UV absorbers.
Sunscreen has many variations. The longevity and effectiveness of SPF depends on the formulation and surrounding environment. For example, swimming or sweating decreases SPF effectiveness, which means regular reapplications are required.
The scalp is particularly susceptible to skin cancer because it’s often exposed to direct sunlight. It’s also less visible, so spots aren’t monitored as closely.
Hide and seek
Seek shade and try to avoid direct exposure to the sun. Shade not only offers refuge from the heat, it also greatly reduces your exposure to UV radiation.
Protect your peepers
Your eyes are just as prone to sun exposure as the rest of your body and can even get sunburnt or develop freckles and moles. That’s why it’s important to wear sunglasses whenever your eyes are exposed to sunlight, even in the car. Before buying, check sunglasses meet Australian standards for eye protection. Some also have Eye Protection Factor (EPF), with ratings of 9 and 10 blocking almost all UV radiation.
Falsehoods surrounding sun exposure can perpetuate bad habits.
- There is no such thing as a safe tan. Even if you never burn, the process of tanning is a sign of skin damage. It can lead to premature ageing and greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
- People with dark skin and/or no family history of the disease can still develop skin cancer.
- UV levels can be high throughout the year, not just during summer. Regardless of the season, you should have a sun safety routine for whenever you’re outside for more than 15 minutes.
High risk factors
If you’ve had bad sunburns, skin cancer scares or a family history of melanoma and other skin cancers, you need to safeguard yourself. Precautionary measures include covering up and using sunscreen when outdoors, checking your skin frequently and seeing a doctor if you notice new lesions or changes to the size, shape and colour of existing ones.
There’s an app for that
SunSmart also has a new app, which uses augmented reality to show what you skin could look like it you don’t protect it from the sun.
The app, called seeUV is also a warning tool for current UV levels. Although you can’t see or feel UV, the app uses the current temperature and UV readings to depict the strength of UV rays in your environment – the more red rays dancing across your screen, the greater the UV damage danger at that location – telling you to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.
Watch Lynette Bolton go in search of summer sun skin care tips and tricks in the House of Wellness TV.
Shop for all your sun care needs at Chemist Warehouse and stay protected this summer.
Written by Charlotte Brundrett