Protect your skin
You may think you've heard it all before but consider how well you protect
your skin when you go to the local shop, drive to work, walk the dog or when you're
at the beach … are you really protecting your skin?
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun can’t be seen or felt. The best way
to protect your skin is to seek shade when UVR is at its peak and if you're heading
outdoors to wear protective clothing, a broad brimmed hat and sunglasses. As a general
rule, your skin requires protection whenever the UV Index level is three (moderate)
or above. In NSW, UVR levels are high from August until May and are likely to be
at their peak between 10am and 2pm or 11am and 3pm during daylight savings. Levels
are often extreme in summer.
SPF30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen needs to be applied to any skin
which is not protected from the sun with clothing. If used correctly, sunscreen
can prevent sunburn. However, sunscreen is not meant to be used to extend the amount
of time you spend in the sun, and should definitely not be used to help you get
Here are five easy steps you can take to protect your skin from the sun:
The strength of UV radiation is highest in the four-hour period around
noon: 10am to 2pm or, during daylight savings: 11am to 3pm. The best thing you can
do for your skin is to avoid the sun during this period and seek shade. Plan your
Click here to learn more
about the UV Index.
2. Protective clothing
Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, especially your shoulders,
arms and legs. The best forms of protective clothing are loose fitting, closely
woven fabrics that cast a dense shadow when held up to the light.
3. Broad-brimmed hat
A hat with a brim of at least 7cm is a great way to protect not only the
top of your head but also your neck, ears and face. These are parts of the body
where skin cancer often occurs.
The most effective way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that
meet the Australian Standard AS 1067 and wrap around the sides of the face. This
way UVR doesn't reach your eyes.
Used properly, sunscreens are effective in preventing sunburn. This means
generously applying SPF30+ broad spectrum sunscreen to your skin, 20 minutes before
you head outdoors. Remember to re-apply every two hours. Click here to learn more about sunscreen
Did you know?
In a recent Cancer Institute NSW survey…
- Over half of respondents had been burnt in the last 12 months and more than a quarter
said they were burnt more than three times within the last year.
- Almost one in six believed that sun protection is only required at the beach or
- Only one-fifth always stayed out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Only 11% always reapplied unscreen every two hours.
- 72% agreed they should be using sun protection more often than they currently do.
World Health Organization: Sunbeds, tanning and UV exposure: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs287/en/index.html