For Australians, summer often means the outdoors. Getting enough sun exposure is important for maintaining vitamin D levels, but many people get skin damage from the sun.
Follow these simple tips to help your skin stay protected over the summer.
Avoid the midday sun – The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are the strongest during 11 am and 3 pm during the summer.1 Try to plan activities in the shade or indoors during these hours.
Be aware of reflective surfaces – UV rays reflect off surfaces such as water, sand and concrete, even in the shade.
Stock up on sunscreen – Look for a broad-spectrum high protection (SPF 30+) sunscreen and use it daily. Sunscreen is best applied 20 minutes before heading outside and then every 2 hours, or after you enter the water.
Kit up for the sun – This includes lip balm, long sleeved clothing that is loose fitting and light weight, a broad brimmed hat and some sunglasses. Choose sunglasses that filter out harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Stay hydrated – Water is vital to maintain the skin’s texture and appearance.2 Drink plenty of water, especially on warmer days.
Taking medications? – Some medications may increase your sensitivity to sunlight.3 Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you stay protected.
Your pharmacy has a range of products to help you through the summer that are suited for different conditions. Talk to your pharmacist for some invaluable advice on choosing the right sun product.
- Choice. What’s the damage? Available from www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/conditions/cancer/articles/cancer-sun-safety (accessed October 2018).
- Better Health Channel. Water – a vial nutrient. Available from www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/water-a-vital-nutrient (accessed October 2018).
- Good Rx. Avoid the sun if you take these drugs. Available from www.goodrx.com/blog/avoid-the-sun-if-you-take-these-drugs/ (accessed October 2018).