With the busyness of life it is easy enough to forget to look after your skin and protect it from the sun on a daily basis. Did you know that in Australia, the levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun are high enough to damage your skin all year round?
We have put together a list of 6 simple, yet effective things you should implement immediately into your routine to protect your skin:
- Wear sunscreen. One of the most important actions you can do to take care of your skin is apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen. Direct, and indirect, sun exposure can cause many skin concerns, not to mention an increased risk of skin cancer. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards.
- Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds. Staying out of the sun but using a tanning bed instead doesn’t reduce your risk for UV damage and skin cancer. If you use a sun bed before age 35, your risk of developing melanoma increases by 59 per cent. If having a tan is important to you, the only safe option is a fake tan using sprays, creams or lotions.
- Examine your skin, head to toe every month. As skin cancer is easier to treat when found early, it is really important to get to know your own skin and check it regularly. Learn how here.
- Cover up. The sun can do damage to your skin in as little as 15 minutes, so it is important to wear the correct protective gear.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Long sleeves and pants are advised if you plan on being in the sun for long periods of time.
- Seek shade. Seek shade whenever you can, especially if you need to go outdoors between the UV peak times of 10.00am to 3.00pm. Bring portable shade like an umbrella if no shade is available, even if the weather is cool. Don't forget - surfaces like concrete, water, snow and grass can reflect UV radiation.
- Get a professional skin cancer check. It is recommended that all Australians get a skin check every year by a Skin Cancer Doctor. The best way to ensure successful treatment and cure is to diagnose any problems early. That means getting an annual professional skin check, and self-monitoring your skin every month in between professional check-ups. Book now.
Using sun protection consistently from an early age is the strongest defence against developing skin cancer. Use this list as a guide to look after your skin every day and take the appropriate measures to protect yourself.