Research suggests that Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, those of us in Australia and New Zealand suffer from the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. This is primarily due to our higher levels of UV rays, including up to 15% more UV than Europeans. Dr Hasanien of SCA explains this is because we are located close to the ozone hole over the Antarctic. Also, during summer, the Earth’s orbit brings us closer to the sun and combined with our clearer atmospheric conditions, means we are in danger of skin cancer without taking further precautions.
If the possibility of skin cancer doesn’t scare you, know that sun damage is the leading cause of premature ageing. With Australian and New Zealand women ageing 20 years faster than other women around the world, we need to make sure we are protecting our skin from the sun, year round and particularly in summer. So what can we do?
We’ve all heard the terms Slip, Slop, Slap since we were kids. While these are key to preventing sun damage to your skin, SunSmart Australia now also recommend two more steps as well.
1. Wear protective clothing
While sometimes on the hottest days, the last thing you feel like doing is putting on more clothes, this is also the most important time to do so. Invest in some high-quality collared shirts or long skirts and dresses and your skin will thank you for it later!
2. Apply sunscreen to your face every day in summer
In summer you need to apply SPF 30+ sunscreen to your face, neck and other exposed areas when heading out. Remember to reapply every few hours while you are in the sun.
3. Wear a hat
The best hats are broad brimmed, and cover your face, neck and décolletage.
4. Seek shade
Where possible, enjoy your time outside but find shade to rest in rather than full sun. Beach and pool days will be far more enjoyable if you are not worried about being burnt all day!
5. Slide on sunglasses
While we know you don’t really need another reason to buy those high end sunglasses you’ve been eyeing off, a high quality pair will protect your eyes from sun damage and prevent additional wrinkles from squinting.
Remember, even if you are just going to be in the car and then indoors most of the day, your skin can still get sun damage from UVA rays through car windows. A lip balm and foundation with added SPF protection is a great idea for the days when you don’t plan to spend much time outside.
What do you do to protect your skin from the sun, particularly in our hot summer months? Let us know below!