Be protected from Spring's sun rays

Spring sunburn can be a bit sneaky. The days warm up a little, sometimes to what feels like summer temperatures, so we head outside more.

But a combination of cloud cover and crisp breezes can fool us into thinking we don’t need sunscreen. Unfortunately, regardless of the temperature, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is still there. Up to 80% of UV radiation gets through on a cloudy day, making it possible to still get burnt when it’s cool or cloudy. While infrared radiation from the sun is less on a cool day (we feel infrared radiation as heat), you can’t see or feel UV radiation. UV radiation causes sunburn, premature ageing, and the risk of developing skin cancer.

This side of the world suffers from some of the strongest UV radiation in the world because of our proximity to the Ozone layer so sun protection is essential and required to stop sunburn which can lead to skin damage, eye damage and skin cancer. Furthermore, non-melanoma skin cancers are also very common and may be increasing. Sun protection is our best protection against cancer and any other sun-related illness. 

Using sunscreen daily is our best defence. 80% of UV radiation still gets through on a cloudy day so using sunscreen is important even if it doesn't look like it's going to be a sunny day.

Any broad-spectrum sunscreen can be used for sun protection, but it should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. There are many quality sunscreens that are suited to all skin types and for family use which we stock at competitive prices.

Spring is a great time to make being SunSmart a habit before summer arrives. To be SunSmart, skin and eyes need protection when outside from 10am to 4pm during the spring months of September, October and November, until April. 

Sun protection

Wearing a hat, long sleeve shirt and sunglasses, as well as sunscreen in the summer months, will go a long way towards protecting you from the harmful effects of the sun's UV radiation. Always wear eye protection all year round to prevent premature eye ageing.

Your local weather app will often give you advice on the recommended layers of clothing for any given day. With the age of technology, being sun smart is just a tap away on your mobile device.

Levels of UV radiation from the sun are always changing. However, in general, UV radiation is most damaging to skin and eyes from September to April (the daylight-saving months), when the UV radiation levels are higher.

Useful tips when applying sunscreen

  • Apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF30. Broad-spectrum sunscreen reduces the intensity of both UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Check your sunscreen's label to confirm it hasn't passed its use-by date (expired).
  • Reapply your sunscreen every two hours, as well as after swimming, sweating and being active.
  • Store your sunscreen according to the label's instructions.
  • Babies' skin is very fragile so try to keep them out of direct sunlight. This is especially important between 10 am and 4 pm from September to April.
  • Sunscreen helps reduce exposure to UV radiation, but that’s all. It should not be used to increase the amount of time you can spend in the sun.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information only. It is not intended as medical or health advice and should not be relied on as a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who understands your individual medical needs.

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New South Wales 2518