Looking after our skin is so important, yet every day millions of people don’t look after themselves. Skin cancer is a growing problem, and sunscreen really helps. This article explains more.
Why we need to look after our skin
There are two types of skin cancers, however the most common is basal cell carcinoma. This is also called a stage 0 (cancer in its early stages). It is the most common type of skin cancer and 90% of these will clear up on their own.
In 2020, it is estimated that 16,221 new cases of melanoma of the skin will be diagnosed (Cancer Australia).
You can have between 1-3% of your skin removed if you have the least invasive form of cancer, depending on what treatment you have and the size of the tumour. Why you should protect your skin.
Your skin protects you from the sun’s UV rays. It is better than wearing a shirt because your skin has more protection. A sunscreen on your skin will protect you, and you will want to wear sunscreen every day of the year. Wear a hat that covers your ears and other parts of your head.
Why wearing sunscreen daily matters
Of course, sunscreen alone will not give you protection from sunburn or skin cancer. The sunscreen needs to be applied before you head out into the sun to give it the best chance of stopping you getting burned.
Wearing a t-shirt is a good idea too. A thin cotton t-shirt is just as absorbent as a thick cotton t-shirt, however you will still get the protection you need. If you don’t use sunscreen, you are exposed to 10 times more ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If you apply sunscreen, you will reduce your risk of cancer and skin damage.
What is UV? UV stands for ultraviolet radiation. For most of us, UV radiation is the most obvious danger, however it is important to know exactly what UV radiation is, so you know the effects it has.
Sunscreen helps to protect our skin
Wearing sunscreen daily is safe and effective, however some people don’t apply it properly. You don’t have to risk damaging your skin, or doing damage to others by not applying the sunscreen. You can make it really easy by using this simple step-by-step checklist to apply your sunscreen correctly every time.
Our relationship with the sun means that every person deserves to live a long and healthy life. We’ve all heard that wearing sunscreen can help you do just that. What makes sunscreen so effective Sunscreen has two main ingredients.
There are two main types: UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are the ones that burn our skin when they get to the skin. These rays come from the sun, and are the main cause of sunburn. They are also responsible for the development of skin cancer.
Sunscreen helps to protect our skin from premature ageing
Surprisingly, it isn’t just our faces that we are exposing to the sun. We have lost sight of our forearms and hands in the rush to get ready for the day. In fact, many of us neglect to apply sunscreen at all on the forearms, hands and ankles.
If you do start wearing sunscreen daily on the hands and arms, apply it after you have done your makeup and before you go outside! You don’t want to leave anything on your skin when it’s that time of day. One recent survey found that of those who only applied sunscreen to the face, they missed 15% of their face for that day – potentially boosting the risk of developing melanoma.
Avoid high SPF When choosing a sunscreen, make sure you choose a product with an SPF of at least 15.
Sunscreen is not just for the beach
We are not trying to make you swear off tanning salons, however. The sun’s UV rays are powerful and don’t discriminate, so we don’t want you coming home from a day in the sunshine looking like a tomato.
So what can you do instead? Despite what many might think, sunscreens are really effective against all sorts of harmful UVA and UVB rays, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a spray or lotion. It is important to apply enough sunscreen though.
When I lived in Majorca I was a regular sun worshipper and I would reapply every two hours. It’s easy to miss, so having a good sun tracker and a good moisturising sunscreen will make sure your skin is properly protected.
How to apply sunscreen
Sunscreen is just as important as wearing a hat in protecting us from the sun. When applying sunscreen, there are two main parts: the cream and the lotion. Choose a sunscreen that is easy to apply, can go on smooth and isn’t too greasy.
Sunscreen is best on dry skin. The key is to put it on after your moisturiser, then use your hands to pat it all over your skin and then rinse off. The right technique is all about patting, rubbing, massaging, applying with circular motions and ‘fighting’ the lotion. It should also sit smoothly on your skin without feeling heavy or drying.
Wearing sunscreen daily
Bad sunburn is the most common illness in Australia. The first step to protecting your skin against the sun is by wearing sunscreen daily, and I mean at least SPF30 sunscreen every single day. If you don’t, your skin can become red and sensitive, leading to sores and itching and making you feel miserable.
We’ve included some tips for how to apply your sunscreen and avoid the most common mistakes, too.