Sunscreen should be an essential part of your daily routine, acting as a shield against the invisible threat of ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin.
While many people only associate sunscreen with sun-soaked days at the beach or summer holidays, the reality is that UV radiation is an ever-present threat in any weather. In Australia, we’re exposed to harmful UV levels most of the year, so it’s important to use sunscreen every day.
There are plenty of risks linked to unprotected UV exposure, particularly when it comes to skin damage. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend outdoors – even incidental UV exposure can cause harm ranging from sunburn to melanoma.
From slowing down premature ageing to skin damage prevention, here are the reasons why a daily dose of SPF is a good idea.
- Tanning and Sunburn
There’s no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Even a light sun tan is a visible indication that your skin has been damaged by UV radiation.
A tan is also the first step to a burn. Sunburn is caused by increased blood flow to the vessels near the skin’s surface, known as “erythema”. You’ll know you’re burnt when you experience painful redness. In severe cases, sunburn turns into blistering before peeling and fading.
While sunburn does eventually fade, long-term damage to skin cells remains. The more often you’re burnt and the more severe the sunburn is, the greater the risk of permanent skin damage like premature ageing and melanoma.
The good news is that it’s never too late to start using sun protection. When UV levels are three or above, make sure you bust out the sunscreen to shield your precious skin cells.
Did you know that up to 80% of premature ageing is due to sun exposure? Among Australians, it’s one of the most common effects of inadequate sun protection. When you make sunscreen a part of your daily routine, you're effectively keeping your skin looking younger for longer.
The signs of early ageing might include wrinkles (loss of elasticity), sagging, yellow discolouration, brown patches, blotchiness, sun spots, and roughness. It’s especially visible around the eyes, where the skin is much thinner compared to the rest of the body.
You’re most at risk when tanning without burning. It’s why you need to constantly re-apply sunscreen throughout the day; because even an accidental tan could age your skin.
Sunscreen absorbs or reflects the UV rays away from your skin, preventing damage to the cells below.
Unprotected exposure to UV radiation threatens more than your youthful complexion. Ultimately, it can have life-threatening impacts. This is because the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause of skin cancer. To be exact, over 95% of skin cancers are caused by UV exposure. Fortunately, it is the most preventable cancer with proper sun safety.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. In warm climates like ours where the UV index consistently reaches dangerous levels of three and above, it’s important to use sunscreen every single day – rain, hail, or shine.
The best sunscreen is the sunscreen you’ll wear. However, we recommend sunscreen that is at least SPF30+ or higher, applied correctly and reapplied every two hours.
There’s no doubt about it: there are some serious risks associated with sun exposure. Fortunately, there are also plenty of methods to protect yourself.
Sunscreen should always be combined with the four other methods of sun protection. Make sure you get plenty of shade and wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing when UV levels reach three or higher. By staying sun smart, you can enjoy your days outdoors safely.