Save your skin this summer

Save your skin this summer

Let’s face it, protecting your skin from the harsh summer sun is not an optional extra, it’s a necessity.

It’s important to cover up all year-round but in summer our lifestyle is all about the outdoors, so it’s easy to get caught without adequate protection.

If you’re a child of the 80s you’ll remember the old Slip Slop Slap television ads and can probably still sing along with Sid the Seagull. The message is just as relevant today, except now there are a couple of extra steps.

The Cancer Council advises that when UV levels are 3 or higher (see below for info about a handy app), make sure you and your family:

• Slip on clothing that covers as much skin as possible

• Slop on minimum SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen

• Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, ears and neck

• Seek shade

• Slide on sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard for UV protection

Start with a good daily skin care routine

Having grown up with the jingle, most of us are pretty good at slopping on sunscreen before and during a day at the beach, but incidental exposure can also do damage.

If you’ve ever popped outside to hang the washing and an hour later found yourself pulling weeds in the veggie garden or chatting under the hot sun with your neighbour, you’re not alone.

Every time you expose your skin to ultraviolet radiation, you increase your risk of developing wrinkles, damaging your eyes and developing skin cancer. The fact is, there is no “safe” level of exposure.

That’s why it’s always best to start the day with some sunscreen either applied separately or as part of your normal routine. Look for dual purpose moisturisers, foundations and BB creams that contain a minimum 30+ SPF.

If you are planning to spend time outside, you will need to reapply sunscreen every two hours to any exposed skin. And if you’re in and out of the water, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof and remember to reapply frequently.

Still want a tan? Then fake it!

Despite the startling fact that 2 in 3 Aussies will get skin cancer by the age of 70 (see more skin cancer facts), many people still risk it all to get a golden glow.

But with the range of fake tanning products available now, there really is no need.

Achieving a natural looking fake tan is possible with the right products and tools to deliver a streak-free glow. There are also fake tanning products available that include an SPF, which is an added bonus, but keep in mind you will still need to apply an additional sunscreen after two hours if you’re out in the sun.

What if you do get burnt?

Even with the best of intentions, sunburn sometimes happens. While parents are usually vigilant in protecting their little ones, it’s more challenging to ensure older children and teenagers are using sunscreen correctly and reapplying often.

Mild sunburn can be treated at home with cool or cold compresses on the area and over-the-counter pain relieving medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

After-sun treatments such as those containing aloe can also provide relief – although keep in mind that no moisturiser can undo the damage already done. Try spray-on after sun treatments which are great because you can apply frequently without having to touch the skin.

You’re never too old to get SunSmart

SunSmart has some great information available to help you stay safe this summer including The SunSmart app that lets you know when you do and don’t need sun protection, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.

Remember, it’s never too late to start a good sun care routine and prevention is always best. Your local Community Care Chemist has everything you need to stay safe in the sun this summer including a great range sunglasses and skin care products, so call in and see us.