Something that is greatly encouraged in Australia is sun safety. This is because not only is skin cancer extremely common, but we are almost directly under the hole in the ozone layer, which causes higher UV rays to bear down on the Earth. We are all encouraged at a young age to wear sun screen and a hat, so much, that the government had introduced a sun smart campaign across the country. I’ve placed the ad below. I watched something really similar to this growing up.
So to help prevent skin cancer and be sun smart, we do exactly what Sid the Seagull said, “Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat”. Obviously in the sun, especially in summer, it’s hot. Just because it’s hot though, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t cover ourselves up. Wear light clothing to help protect your body from getting burnt, preferably something with sleeves, as well as a hat. The hat shouldn’t be a beanie, but something with a brim on it. Caps are good to protect the face, but your ears will still be exposed, so a bucket hat is a much better option. If you want to be really sun smart, go for the wide brimmed hat. Almost all primary and high schools in Australia have a wide brimmed hat as a part of their compulsory uniform. Normally along with it is a rule called, ‘no hat no play’.
Now if your at the beach and want to catch a tan, I can understand hats and clothing covering up your body is not going to be something you’ll want to wear. I highly recommend wearing sunscreen with a strong SPF rating, which should be re-applied at least every two hours, and immediately after swimming. Regardless of the strength of the sunscreen, you should still re-apply in this time frame. Just because one sunscreen has an SPF 15 and the other is SPF 50, they will both wear off in relatively the same time frame. If you want to wear tanning lotion, then do it smart and get a lotion that has sun screen in it. Sure your tan will take a little longer to appear, but at least you’ll be less likely to burn and have beautiful skin. You can also find moisturiser with sun screen in it too, so there is no excuse to not wear sunscreen on your face.
Finally, find shade where you can. Rather than sitting in the sun for a picnic, find shade under a tree. If you don’t care too much for a tan by the beach, take a beach umbrella. Shade will help protect you further from those harmful UV rays.
If you are concerned about your skin and having potential skin cancers, seek out a doctor and get your skin checked. It is encourage in Australia to have you skin checked once a year, for early detection of skin cancer. Also, the Queensland Government has released a Sun Smart app called ‘Sun Effects Booth’. It can show you a UV Index for your location, and can also give you a prediction on what your skin will look like in the future, based off your current sun safety routine. Below are some photos of the app.
Be sun smart this summer and stay beautiful.