Sun protection is the one part of our skincare routine that’s often overlooked. We know how important it is, but regularly make excuses: I’m inside all day, I need the Vitamin D, sunscreen clogs my skin… the list goes on and on. But with two in three Australians being diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, National Skin Cancer Action Week encourages us to throw out our excuses. There’s no reason to put your health at risk when it’s so easy (and fashionable!) to protect your skin.
Beach bag essentials
A variety of sunscreen is essential for days when you will have continuous sun exposure. Something for the body, something for the face, and a powerful SPF50 for the areas where you burn easily – for me, it’s my shoulders and cheekbones. The Cancer Council have a ridiculously enormous range to cover every possible need, but there are obviously plenty of Aussie brands that offer sunscreens. And I wouldn’t waste my money on sprays. The only time I’ve ever been really badly burnt was when I used a spray sunscreen. The coverage was awful and I was lobster-red after an hour. So don’t skimp on your sunscreen – buy a decent SPF, and take the time to apply it properly. Five minutes is worth it in the long run!
I also have a bottle of water with me at all times, because hydration is super important. Please, if you’re going to be out in the sun all day, pack plenty of water. This might not be one of the pillars of National Skin Cancer Action Week, but you don’t want heat stroke either!
Why daily protection is important
A facial moisturiser with SPF is an absolute must, at a minimum, for your everyday skincare routine. I used to struggle with this, as anything with SPF clogged my pores and gave me acne, but moisturisers have gotten infinitely better in the last few years, and I now wear SPF every day. You just need to find one that your skin can handle. And if you’re inside all day, then I’ll cut you some slack – and allow a minimum of SPF15!
Why is SPF so important,if we’re only dealing with incidental sun exposure? I’ll leave this one to the experts:
Progressive and continued sun damage causes long term damage to collagen, the structural protein deep within the skin. This manifests as accelerated ageing, which can be noted from as early as the age of 25, with lines, wrinkles and eventually slackened, pigmented skin. Over a lifetime, exposure to the sun can cause potentially fatal conditions such as melanoma. It is repeated exposure (and in Australia that’s on a daily basis) without protection where we are most at risk.
For this reason at Skinstitut, we always recommend to protect the skin every day with a skin protective SPF 50+. Skinstitut’s Age Defence SPF 50+ is the perfect product for daily use because of its light-weight easy to wear texture. Plus, it has the added bonus of fighting free radical damage caused by sun exposure, that also contributes to the appearance of an aged skin, thanks to its high concentration of anti-oxidants. This product also contains Vitamin B3, Niacinamide, which assists in the skins immune function and inhibits melanin transfer, which assists in minimising the appearance of sun spots and pigmentation.
– Nicola Gleeson, Skinstitut Expert
National Skin Cancer Action Week 2016
The official theme for Cancer Council’s 2016 initiative is My #SunSmart5, which is a modified version of the slip, slop, slap we’ve all grown up with. Make sure to follow these rules when spending time outside, especially in the hot Australian sun.
- Slip on sun-protective clothing
- Slop on some sunscreen
- Slap on a hat (preferably broad-brimmed)
- Seek shade
- Slide on sunglasses
More than 2000 people in Australia die from skin cancer each year and Cancer Council estimates that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer, with costs increasing substantially over the past few years.
Yet most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection. So what are you waiting for?
What sun protection faux pas are you guilty of?