Woman lying under a beach umbrella.
Woman lying under a beach umbrella.

What is healthy skin?

Scroll through social media and you’ll be bombarded with images of celebrities and influencers with beautiful radiant skin and that enviable glow-from-within. You might be wondering, what their secret is.. 

Ever-evolving skincare technologies, anti-ageing serums and moisturisers all claim to reverse ageing, but the cost of these products can be prohibitive. The dollars, coupled with the amount of time spent applying products morning and evening, means we are all working far too hard to look and feel our best. 

But the recipe for healthy skin goes way beyond expensive skincare that (might) slow the signs of ageing. While some products may help a little, it’s important to remember that damage caused by UV radiation is the single biggest factor in your skin’s health and appearance.   

The effects of UV radiation can show up as sun damage anywhere on your body, so protecting just your face from UV with SPF 30+ is not enough. To keep looking and feeling your best use all five SunSafe practices to keep your skin healthy and prevent premature ageing, visible damage, and ultimately skin cancer. 

With 2 in 3 Australians developing skin cancer in their lifetime, it's time to rethink the suntan.

Suntanned skin is damaged skin 

We all know that a sunburn hurts, but did you know even a suntan can start to cause damage to your skin? When the skin is exposed to the sun and UV radiation, its natural response is to produce melanin. The melanin causes a darkening of the skin and is your body’s way of attempting to protect itself. However, a suntan is a sign that your skin has already received too much UV and damage has already begun. 

If you keep exposing your skin over time it will cause damage such as wrinkles, sunspots and even cancer. 

If you’re not protecting yourself when the UV levels are 3 or above, just 15 minutes of exposure can start to cause damage to your skin. 

How does the sun cause premature ageing?

Of course, a thorough skincare routine, regular exercise, and eating a healthy balanced diet are all important ways to keep yourself looking and feeling great… but the fact remains: It’s exposure to UV radiation that accounts for 80% of premature ageing. 

Protect yourself by liberally applying SPF 30+ all over the body, covering up with a cute shirt or long sleeve top, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, and sunnies, and seeking shade. 

  • Just 15 minutes of unprotected UV exposure can start to cause damage
  • Leathery skin, sunspots and mole growth are all caused by harmful UV radiation 
  • UV rays break down the elastin fibres in your skin. Our skin needs elastin to keep it plump and bouncy, preventing sagging and wrinkles.

Good habits start now

Thankfully the (well-shaded) tables are turning, and the fashion world is embracing stylish SunSmart fashion and accessories. Think cute hats and sunnies, breezy cover ups, and show-stopping beach umbrellas or cabanas. 

Remember to slip, slop, slap, seek, slide and start to normalise what healthy skin really is, and we can keep on living our best lives in sunny Australia.  

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