6 tips for staying SunSmart

Cancer Council NSW

Spring has sprung and as the weather warms up we’re all spending more time outdoors.

Here are our top tips for ensuring you protect your skin from the sun this season!

1. Learn to understand the UV index

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of sunburn, premature ageing of the skin (no thanks!), eye damage and skin cancer. Each time your skin is unprotected from the sun, UV radiation damages the DNA in the skin cells. The damage is permanent and increases with each exposure to UV radiation. In fact, 95% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation, but the good news is it can be prevented, and it’s never too late to start!

When the UV index is 3 or above we need to protect the skin from sun damage. Did you know our free SunSmart app tells you what times of the day sun protection is recommended for your current location? You can even get pop-up daily reminders! The App uses forecast information from the Bureau of Meteorology and live UV data from ARPANSA.

Download the app here.

2. Slip on protective clothing

Whether it’s your rashie, your work shirt, or just your everyday attire, be sure to wear long sun-protective clothing with a close weave. Clothing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your skin, so aim to cover up as much as possible whenever the UV is 3 or above.

3. Slop on sunscreen

Heading down to the beach or hitting the golf course with your mates? Choose a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen which is at least SPF 30, and apply generously 20 minutes before going out into the sun. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more if towel drying or sweating excessively.

3. Slap on a hat

A cap just won’t do! The best form of sun protection is to wear a broad-brimmed, bucket or legionnaire-style hat which protects your ears, sides of the face and back of the neck.

4. Seek shade

If it’s your turn to host a barbeque for your mates, be sure to provide substantial shade to ensure adequate sun protection for them. Remember that UV rays reflect off surfaces such as sand, water and paving, so use other sun protection measures when in the shade too.

5. Slide on your sunglasses

Put the novelty sunnies away and protect your eyes properly with close-fitting wrap-around sunglasses. You should wear sunglasses when outdoors during daylight hours, not just when there’s obvious glare.

Find more information on our sun protection page and don’t forget to download our free SunSmart app!

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