Australia and New Zealand, a lot of the time, enjoy day after day of sunshine however spending too much time exposed to the suns' radiation could come at a price. Not only do you risk looking like a tomato and being in pain, you are also at risk of developing skin cancer. Fortunately, being Sun Smart is a simple and effective way to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
Many people get sunburnt when doing water sports or activities near or in the water, so it's important to find a water resistant sunscreen if you're planning on doing any water based activities, and to be safe it's better to re-apply your sunscreen once you're out of the water and have dried off.
Many also get sunburnt doing every day activities like driving, shopping, gardening or enjoying the good old Aussie B.B.Q. It is also possible to get burnt on overcast or cooler days when you might not realise that the UV radiation can still burn even when the temperature is cool.
Fair skinned people can get burnt in as little as ten minutes, and dark skinned people can get burnt in about 30 minutes of sun exposure, so even strolling from one end of Byron Bay down to Main Beach can result in sunburnt skin. Sun exposure that doesn't result in sunburn can still cause skin damage and when the skin is exposed to UV radiation year after year this also increases the chance of developing skin cancer.
For the best sun protection use the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide advice...
Slip on some sun protective clothing. Cover as much of the body as possible. Clothes are not created equal! Some items of clothing are more sun protective than others, a good beach item to invest in is a piece of clothing called a "rashie" which can be worn in and out of the water.
Slop on some sunscreen - broad spectrum, water resistant, at least SPF30+ sunscreen. Fake tan and make up do not protect you from the UV radiation.
Slap on a hat. The bigger the better. A hat that not only protects your face but also your head, neck and ears is the best.
Seek shade. Trees are good, however it is usually filtered and you also need to remember that when you are under the shade the UV radiation can bounce from the ground up into your face or any other skin that is exposed.
Slide on some sunglasses. Not all sunglasses are created equal either. Make sure you wear ones that meet the Australian Standards.
Be extra vigilant in the middle of the day between the hours of 10am and 3pm. This is when the UV radiation is at it's highest. Here in Australia we use the UV Alert to advise how high the UV radiation is and at what times during the day. This can be found in the weather section of daily newspapers. When it is 3 or higher, then that is when the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide should be put into practice.
Apply sunscreen liberally. Here at the Nomads Arts Factory there is always a big bottle of sunscreen for all of our guests to freely help themselves to. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy day after day of sun, however there is a dark side to those endless days of sun... Please be Sun Smart. Always Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide...