Live Better
 
 

Sun safety: How to protect your skin this summer

Keep your skin safe and healthy while you're enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

We instinctively do so many things to keep ourselves safe and healthy. Clipping on our seatbelts before driving, strapping on a helmet before going for a bike ride, wearing protective mitts before handling something hot and brushing our teeth to keep them free from tooth decay.

But what about the largest organ of the body – our skin?

Ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) is a danger that you can’t see or feel. Whether you’re enjoying a day at the beach, a BBQ with family and friends or a game of cricket, any time you go outside your skin is vulnerable. These harmful rays can cause unhealthy-looking, blotchy, wrinkled skin. And they have rocketed Australia to the unenviable position of number one skin cancer country in the world.

On average almost one person every minute will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer and more than one person an hour will develop the most deadly form of skin cancer – melanoma.

So how can we have fun in the sun and still protect our skin?

Wide brimmed hat and sunglasses

Sun safety: the facts

We all need daily sun protection. But first, we need to remember a few simple facts about sun safety:

  • Sun safety isn’t just for sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, all of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are present and damaging your skin.
  • Ultraviolet rays reflect off surfaces such as water, sand and grass, trying to sneak through your skin’s defences.
  • Sun damage adds up over time. Up to 80% of lifetime exposure occurring in the first 20 years of life.
  • Keeping in the shade is just one step. Sitting out of the direct sun or wearing a wide brimmed hat provides less than total protection against ultraviolet radiation.
  • There is no such thing as a safe tan. Your health matters more than looking tanned.

“Almost one person every minute will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer.”

How to protect your skin

Total skin protection in the sun is a package deal, often referred to as the five S’s:

1. Slip on sun protective clothing. Look for clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50+ which is the maximum.

2. Slop on the sunscreen. An SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen, reapplied every 2 hours when outdoors and after swimming. For children and those with sensitive skin look for a chemical free sunscreen (zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide).

3. Slap on a wide brimmed hat.

4. Seek shade. 80% of total ultraviolet radiation during summer is received between 10.00am – 3.00pm so this is the main time of the day to seek shade.

5. Slide on a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Look for Australian Standard AS1067 for maximum protection.

Visit Cancer Council Australia for more sun smart advice. 

 

Latest Articles

Wellbeing

8 DIY cleaning products that actually work

All you need is a handful of simple home ingredients. Read more

Wellbeing

Are you connected, but still lonely?

We are social animals, designed to crave connections. Read more

Wellbeing

Keeping your kids safe online

How to address and prevent cyberbullying. Read more

Wellbeing

How does nature boost your health and happiness?

Here are a few reasons to bring more nature into your life. Read more

Wellbeing

How to treat tired, dry or itchy eyes

Ophthalmologist Dr Mark Jacobs explains how to find relief. Read more

Wellbeing

The psychology of why travel is so good for you

Why we wanderlust, and how travelling changes us. Read more

youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickPage 1Group 10Group 9Group 2sign-up-userArtboard CopyArtboard Copy 15Artboard Copy 3Artboard Copy 4Artboard Copy 8Artboard Copy 17Artboard Copy 9Group CopyArtboard Copy 6Artboard Copy 7Artboard Copy 18Artboard Copy 10Artboard Copy 2Artboard CopyArtboard Copy 5Page 1Artboard Copy 12Artboard Copy 16ArtboardArtboard Copy 13Artboard Copy 14Artboard Copy 11np_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5lemon-speechInstagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookShape Copy 2Mobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2Group 17arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick