The Australian sun is a drawcard for many visitors Down Under, who hope to enjoy some warm weather as they relax on one of our famous beaches. While the sunshine is a big part of Australia’s appeal, it has also earned our country the unwanted title of the ‘Skin Cancer Capital’ of the world.
This is why it’s so important for you to protect yourself against UV radiation during your time in Australia. Staying sun safe will not only prevent the painful affliction of sunburn, it’ll protect your skin from long-term and potentially fatal damage such as premature aging, wrinkles, sun spots and cancer. The Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Action Week is a great chance to review your sun safety habits, so read on to learn how to stay sun smart and #OwnYourTone.
on some sun-protective clothing to guard your skin from UV rays. It’s important to cover as much skin as possible, so go for long sleeved tops and full length pants in tightly woven materials such as cotton or linen to give yourself maximum protection. For your swimsuit, look for styles made from lycra as this fabric still offers sun protection when wet.
on SPF30 or 50+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. Make sure that you reapply sunscreen every two hours, and be especially vigilant if you’re swimming or sweating. In Australia, SPF 15 sunscreen just won’t cut it – you need to use SPF 30 or 50 with UVA and UVB coverage to get adequate protection. Do be aware that sunscreen can’t increase the amount of time you spend in the sun, so combat your UV exposure by moving to the shade or dressing in sun-safe clothing. A tan isn’t a sign of health but rather evidence of sun damage, so stick to fake tanners if you’re after a bronzed look.
on a wide-brimmed hat that will protect your face, scalp, nose, neck and ears from the sun. A cap only shields the top part of your face so opt for a style that protects larger areas of skin from sun exposure. Look for hats made of close weave materials so no UV radiation can get through any holes in the fabric.
shade after periods of sun exposure. A foolproof way to prevent skin damage is to reduce or completely avoid the sun by sticking to shady areas. If you’re at the park, sit under trees or shelters and take an umbrella with you to the beach so you can have a break from the sun’s rays.
on a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Guarding your eyes from UV exposure is just as important as shielding your skin, so look for a pair of close-fitting sunglasses that fulfil Australian UV protection standards for lenses. The shape of your glasses can be significant, as peripheral light can creep in from the edge of your frames. If you’re an outdoorsy type, consider getting a pair of wrap-around sunglasses to defend your eyes from every angle.