Data suggests that more than 2.7 million Australian adults are getting sunburnt while outdoors on weekends and we’re less likely to wear hats as part of our sun protection regime. As a result, cases of sunburn to the face, head, nose and ears is increasing. 

Research also revealed that during peak UV periods, people were less likely to seek shade or use clothing for protection and opted instead to protect their skin by using sun screen. Only one in five Australians were found to use three or more methods of sun protection concurrently.

With two in every three Australians being diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, it’s important to understand that slopping on some sunscreen isn’t a bullet proof vest. Hats, clothing, sunglasses and shade also play an important role in protecting skin from damaging UV rays.

The Cancer Council Australia and the Australasian College of Dermatologists are encouraging Australians to use all five forms of sun protection to be #SunSmart including:

  • Slip on: sun protective clothing. Remember to try and cover as much skin as possible
  • Slop on: broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen (SPF 30+ or higher!). Tips: Put the sunscreen on 20 minutes before going outdoors, and every hour afterwards.  Remember, sunscreen should not be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap on: a hat. Aim for a broad brim or legionnaire (also covers the neck) style as they provide the best protection for your face, head, neck and ears.
  • Seek: shade.
  • Slide: on sunglasses. Ensure your sunglasses meet Australian standards and are appropriate for your planned usage.

To check the UV alert and find out the level of sun protection you need, download the SunSmart app. The app is designed to assist you in planning your outdoor activities around sun exposure. It identifies times during the day when protection is required to be SunSmart. Search ‘SunSmart App’ in your app store to download this free resource. Remember to use the #SunSmart5 and consult your GP for a regular skin screen. To find your nearest Sonic HealthPlus GP, click here.


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