Protect your skin in five ways
How well are you really protecting your skin? You may think you’ve heard it all before, but skin cancer cases in Australia are increasing.
As a general rule, your skin requires protection whenever the UV Index level is three (moderate) or above. In NSW, UV radiation levels are high from August until May and are likely to be at their peak between 10am-2pm, or 11am-3pm during daylight savings. Levels are often extreme in summer.
How do I enjoy the outdoors safely?
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 day.
- 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.
- 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 UV radation 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. Remember: 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 a tan.