What is your name?
Hello, I'm Sonya Matthews.
I live in Queensland, Australia, where summer lasts all year!
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
Active, keen walker, sun avoider!
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
I really dislike the sun on my skin and prefer to stay out of it. But I also love walking (longer distances) and so cover from head to toe when I venture out. I have never been so happy since the day I discovered Solbari and found I could have a gorgeous top to wear that covers everything I want it to, is soft on my skin, cool enough to wear in the hottest weather and comes in beautiful colours! Sun protection has always been so ugly and boring, until now!
I always wear high protection sunscreen/makeup on my face, and sunglasses. I add a legionnaires hat when I'm going walking. I wish I had protected my arms more as a younger woman, but at least my face has been pretty well protected and is holding up relatively well!
My mum, dad and mother and father in law have ALL had sun cancers or sun spots removed. I see so many people of their generation having similar treatments.
Now that we have a better understanding of the dangers, our younger generation can protect themselves better - especially with more choices of sun protection methods! Yet many younger people unfortunately don't believe the dangers and take few precautions against sun damage. It's so very frustrating!
I am thrilled, however, that my sons' school are very proactive about wearing hats for outdoor play. In time, the tide may turn to better sun habits by more people!
What would you tell your 16 year old self about sun protection?
You have red hair, fair skin with freckles and your ancestry is Scottish, Austrian and German. You are not designed to live in the Australian sun, so keep out of it! Do NOT sunbathe (even if your mother does) as you will not tan as your friends appear to! You will look younger when you're older, if you have less sun exposure now!
Thank you Sonya for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.