What is your name?
Hi, I'm Elle!
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
This is a tough one! I'm going to go with: inquisitive, imaginative and nature-lover.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
As a teenager and young adult, I would slip/slop/slide (I have fond memories of those adverts from my childhood!) if I was doing a specific activity outside (like going to the beach or swimming), but I was rather oblivious to all of the incidental exposure to ultraviolet rays I was receiving whilst going about my day.
In my mid-twenties, I saw my darling grandmother lose large parts of her nose to skin cancer, which made me think more carefully about how much sun exposure I was receiving. I decided to start getting regular skin checks and encouraged my family to do so too.
At my first skin check, I sensibly purchased a hat which I dutifully wore while gardening and bushwalking, but I was too embarrassed (and vain!) to wear it out in public. As a consequence, I continued to get mildly sunburnt a few times each summer as I was going about my daily activities.
Late last year, I decided enough was enough and started researching how to better protect my skin. In addition to learning how to apply sunscreen properly (I wasn't applying anywhere near enough!), I started searching for SPF50 clothing.
A close friend recommended Solbari and I was thrilled to find a protective sun hat that I'd feel comfortable wearing in public (not that it should matter, really!). I rarely leave home without my hat these days and look forward to adding a few more to my collection.
What would you tell your 16 year old self about sun protection?
- Pale skin is beautiful and being sensible in the sun is essential to your long-term health and wellbeing. Trust me, if you're not sensible now, in your thirties you'll waste time worrying about the damage your younger-self inflicted on your skin. Not to mention the time you waste combatting wrinkles! Besides the wrinkles, let's hope we never have to suffer the potential consequences of your ignorance.
- Don't let the fact you wear prescription glasses prevent you from wearing sunglasses - get a pair of sunglasses with prescription lenses!
- If the person you're trying to impress thinks you're dorky for being sun-smart, they're not worth impressing. The person worth impressing is the one who's glad you're protecting your skin as they want you to live a long and healthy life.
Thank you Elle for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.