We are used to keeping cool on hot, summer days - but are we really protecting our skin as well as we could be? Below are 6 common misconceptions when it comes to protecting the skin from sun damage, skin cancer and melanoma.
1. Applying a minimal amount of sunscreen, and not reapplying
Dermatologists and medical experts recommend using broad spectrum sunscreen every day. Broad spectrum means that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If your whole body is exposed to the sun, the recommended amount is approximately seven teaspoons for adults, in order to ensure an effective sun barrier.
No level of SPF sunscreen will allow you to stay out in the sun all day. Up to 98% is filtered by using broad spectrum SPF50+.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours (even if it is water resistant), particularly after playing sport, swimming, or even after drying yourself with a towel.
2. Using only sunscreen to protect against skin damage
Whilst applying sunscreen is an important part of sun protection, it is only the first step in the "slip, slop, slap, seek and slide" SunSmart routine. Remember to cover up with high UV protective clothing, sunglasses, a hat and find shade where possible.
You can find out more about Solbari UV protective fabrics on our fabrics page >
3. Thinking regular clothing protects the same as UPF50+ clothing
Most people don’t realise that regular summer clothing such as a lightweight, white cotton t-shirt may only have a UPF of 5 leaving the skin exposed to sun damage. A UPF of 5 is equivalent protection to wearing SPF5 sunscreen. Clothing that is certified UPF50+ blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays and allows only 1/50th of UV rays reaching the surface of the garment to pass through it. This is the maximum certifiable sun protective rating in the World.
The Skin & Cancer Foundation states that sun protective clothing, hats and accessories should be the first line of defence against sun damage, followed by sunscreen. Solbari specialises in advanced sun protective clothing that is lightweight, breathable and suitable for all-day wear. Most importantly, all Solbari products are certified UPF50+ in Australia and provide the maximum sun protection all day long.
4. Only being sun smart on hot days
Many people think that you don't need to protect your skin on cool, cloudy days. Sun damage is actually caused by UV radiation, with 90% of UV rays being able to pass through clouds. It is important to remember to protect your skin every day, no matter the weather.
Cancer Council's 2015 National Sun Survey revealed that 50% of sunburn in Australian adults occurs while doing activities at home, such as household chores. Chair of the Public Health Committee, Craig Sinclair, warns Australians about this "'incidental' sunburn", stressing the importance of sun protection methods, "whether you are in the backyard, lying down in the park or hanging out at the beach".
5. Choosing to not use sun protection in order to get more vitamin D
A few minutes of sunlight are sufficient to receive sufficient vitamin D. To read more about adequate vitamin D levels, you can read about our blog on vitamin D by clicking here.
6. Thinking that getting a tan will not damage your skin
Some believe tanning isn't harmful on our bodies (so long as you don't get burnt), but being tanned is actually a sign of skin damage. As the damage of UV builds up over time, wrinkles and discolouration may begin to form and the risk of skin cancer increases.