Slip Slop Slap – How to be sun smart this Summer

31 December, 2019

We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful sunshiny country filled with wonderous beaches, walking tracks, bushland beauty and hidden gems to explore and enjoy in the sunshine. And while we are super lucky to have such beauty at our doorstep, the sun can be exceptionally enjoyable, yet an enemy when it comes to sun exposure our skin.

According to The Cancer Council, Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world with more than 11,500 Aussie men and women diagnosed with a melanoma each year. And if that wasn’t scary enough, it’s said an estimated 434,00 people are treated for one or more ‘non- melanoma skin cancers! Skin cancer accounts for over a staggering 80% of cancer diagnosed in Oz each year. So keeping up to date with how we can be safe in our beautiful sun drenched country is not something to be complacent about.

Let’s set the scene. You wake up to the warm glow of golden streams of glorious sunshine beaming through the gap in your curtains. You know its going to be a great day already. Eager to get out in the fresh air and soak up that cheery vitamin D your body loves, you promptly put your cozzie on, grab a towel, slide on your thongs and out the door you go- headed straight for that glistening blue ocean. Maybe you remember to bring your sunnies, perhaps you quickly pop some sunscreen in your beach bag, and sometimes you remember to bring a hat. But is this enough to be as sun smart as we are supposed to be to avoid falling victim to potentially severe sun damage?

We’ve learnt about ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ in our younger days, and while we have the Cancer Council early 200’s advert featuring ‘Sid the Seagull’ will forever be stuck in our heads, it’s still easy to forget the sun smart steps especially when we’re gagging to run out the door hit the waves. But here’s the thing, while it’s easy to forget to slip, slop, slap, it’s not something we can afford to be complacent about in this country. The issue we have with Australia is that the continent receives higher UV levels than say Europe. With us being located close to the ozone hole over the Antarctic means much higher, more severe levels of UV radiation that penetrates through to ground level.

Don’t be fooled, cloud coverage doesn’t block these harmful UV rays either peeps. So weather it’s a day of beaming sunshine and blue sky, or a milder-feeling cloudy day, being sun smart is imperative when stepping outdoors – especially in Summer! As the years have gone by, the Cancer Council has upgraded its ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ campaign to now five measures of sun protection for optimum precaution and safety.

Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible (think rashies, t- shirts, board shorts). Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) twenty minutes prior to venturing outdoors and re-applying every two hours thereafter. Slap on a hat with a broad brim to protect your face, head, neck and ears. Seek shade, be it a brolly or a beach tent pegged into the sand, the less direct sun exposure to your skin, the better! And finally Slide on some sunnies that meet Australian Sun Safe Standards. Sun safety in Australia extends beyond these five steps with proactively scheduling in visits to your local skin clinic for regular skin checks as well as staying up to date with tools such as ‘UV checker’ and weather apps. Stock up on your sunscreen at Woolworths who have an awesome range of sun protective sprays, creams and lotions for all skin types including super gentle sunscreens for little ones with sensitive skin.