Woman with freckles applying sunscreen on face
Beauty

Why we should be applying sunscreen

Now that summer has officially arrived in Australia, it is more important than ever to follow sun safety tips, such as drinking enough water, staying in the shade when possible and applying plenty of sunscreen.

Everyone knows that using sunscreen is important – but do you know the reasons behind it? In this post, we will discuss why sunscreen is vital to protecting your health right now and in the future. Read on to learn about the risks associated with too much sun exposure and how sunscreen can help you protect you and your family.

It helps to prevent skin cancer

If you’ve ever had a sunburn before, you understand the unpleasant effects that too much sun exposure can have in just a few hours. It can also cause more severe health conditions like sunstroke and heat exhaustion.

In the long term, too much unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, which is a serious public health concern in Australia. In fact, about two-thirds of all Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.

So how does sunscreen help combat skin cancer? Sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays to help protect your skin while you are outside so that you don’t burn and damage your skin – which can lead to skin cancer over time.

If skin cancer historically runs in your family, you’ll need to be particularly mindful of this. Your skin type (measured from a scale of ‘very fair’ to ‘very dark’) also plays a role in your risk of getting skin cancer.

You can avoid premature ageing

Not only can too much unprotected sun exposure lead to grave conditions like skin cancer, but it can also have unpleasant effects on your looks as well, leading to wrinkles, discolouration and sunspots.

According to the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services, sun exposure is the most common cause of skin damage and wrinkling. However, the results of a 2013 study show that people who use sunscreen every day are 24% less likely to show signs of ageing than those who did not use it daily.

There are many sunscreen products designed to protect the sensitive skin on your face, so seek those out when possible if you are concerned about a potential reaction.

With these facts in mind, make sure you’re taking the time to apply sunscreen every day – not just in the summer. The Cancer Council recommends using broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (at least SPF30) about 20 minutes before you go outside and reapplying every two hours.

But using sunscreen is just one part of being sun safe. In addition to sunscreen application, you should also wear protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible, along with a hat and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water and seek out shade whenever you can if you’re planning on spending time outdoors.

If you’re a parent, don’t forget to make sure your little ones are adequately equipped to be in the sun this summer. Be sure to send them to school or their summer activities with plenty of sunscreen, water and protective clothing.

Taylor Freitas is a freelance writer and content marketer/editor. She has written for publications across the world and works with global brands to drive awareness, generate leads, and convert prospects into loyal, returning customers.

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