How to look (and feel) good while protecting your skin
We all want to look and feel our best. Sun damage, which can ultimately lead to skin cancer, happens when you’re exposed to UV of 3 and above. And UV radiation isn’t only dangerous, it also wreaks havoc on your skin. Just 15 minutes in the sun unprotected can undo your skincare routine.
What does your daily skincare routine look like?
Many of us spend a lot of effort on our skincare routines, but just 15 minutes in the sun, especially in summer when UV levels are higher for longer, can undermine the hard work you put into your skincare.
To protect against the damaging effects of UV, SPF is your skin’s best friend but it’s not a suit of armour. Adopting all 5 sun safe behaviours will not only help prevent skin cancers; it will also delay premature ageing and visible sun damage.
Sun damaged skin can show up as:
- Fine lines
- Leathery skin
- Premature ageing
- Mole growth
Over time, exposure to UV adds up and may leave you looking older than your years. A suntan may last a week, but skin damage is for life.
"UV overexposure damages the fibres in the skin called elastin. When they break down, your skin will begin to sag, stretch and lose its ability to go back into place - it’s a fast-track way to premature skin ageing. Seeking shade, wearing a hat and staying covered up when you go outside are ways to avoid damage caused by the sun." - ELLE MAGAZINE
How to do sun protection, the right way
"Sun protection doesn’t just mean sunscreen. Rock a hat, and stylish sunglasses, as well as stand out fashion choices that cover your body, whilst saving your skin. Lightweight kaftans, natural fibres like linen, hemp and cotton in loose fitting breezy styles are my go-to summer style." - Georgie Abay, Editor Marie Claire
SLIP: Pack a cover up
Using sun protection isn’t just about being safe, you can be super cute with it too. The fashion industry is all over this so there are heaps of on-trend cover ups with serious style points.
SLOP: SPF 30+, baby!
Keep your skin super soft and prevent premature ageing, wrinkles and other sun damage by using a quality broad spectrum sunscreen, with at least SPF 30. This should be generously applied (slopped!) all over your body… not just the face, please! But don’t worry, sunscreens aren’t what they used to be. They now come with non-greasy formulas that avoid that white cast and can be highly moisturising!
Apply 20 minutes before exposure so that it sets into the skin. You should use roughly a teaspoon per limb, and one for the back, chest and head, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating or towel drying.
SLAP: Grab a cute hat
Find a hat that works with your style, and you’ve got an outfit-maker. Ideally choose hats with a wide brim so you protect your face, neck and ears, since these can be common areas for skin cancers to develop.
SEEK: Stay in the shade
If you’re hitting the beach, choose a cool and shady spot under a tree, or pack a beach umbrella or cabana. Be aware that UV can reflect off the water and other surfaces, even in the shade, so wear SPF 30+, a hat, sunnies and a cover up as well.
SLIDE: Sunnies don’t just look good…
A good pair of sunnies will also protect your face and eyes from the sun. Slide on some oversized sunnies and you’re good to go. Good sunnies together with a great hat, means you’re reducing your UV exposure by 98% to your head and eyes. Ideally, choose a pair of sunnies that wraparound and meet the Australian Standard AS/NSZ 1067.