Us mums are really great at putting our kids in rashies and hats and sunscreen. But when it comes to protecting our own skin, like so many other things, we sometimes don’t enforce the same rules onto ourselves. So, as the weather begins to warm up, I want to give you a quick reminder of why we all need to start practicing what we preach so that we can enjoy the sun safely this summer season.
Sun protection is more important than you are probably aware…
The statistics are scary, so read this section carefully to let it fully sink in….
1. 90%-99% of skin cancer is related to sun exposure;
2. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Australia;
3. Skin cancer accounts for about 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year in Australia;
4. Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
And just in case skin cancer wasn’t enough of a deterrent, up to 90% of the visible signs of ageing, including wrinkles, are caused by sun damage, not the number of candles on your next birthday cake.
So, be it for health or vanity reasons, having the best possible skin comes down to… reducing sun damage!
Top 3 common misconceptions…
Every Australian over the age of 30 grew up with the Slip! Slop! Slap! message (gotta love the 80’s!). But how many of us really know that this message is telling us? Because through simple measures, such as following the Slip Slop Slap guidelines, skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer in Australia.
The 3 most common misconceptions I see around the Slip Slop Slap message are….
It wasn’t until I started looking into sun protection for my kids that I learnt that the Cancer Council’s Slip Slop Slap message is NOT being fulfilled by slipping on clothing of any description. You need to do more than ‘slipping’ on a cotton t-shirt, kaftan or tunic because the average white cotton t-shirt only has a UPF 5.
Please, tell everyone you know: t-shirts do not provide adequate sun protection. You need to be wearing clothing that and specifically been designed to protect you from the sun.
Every day is a day that sunscreen is needed. Warm days, cool days, clear days, cloudy days, winter days, summer days, driving days, gardening days. I think you get the picture. Remember, there is no connection between UV levels and temperature. UV is invisible. You cannot see it, hear it, or feel it.
Get in the habit of applying sunscreen every day. Be generous with your sunscreen, apply it before you go outside and reapply it every 2 hours. Most importantly, sunscreen is a great defense, but should not be your only defense.
Yes, you need your hat to be breathable, lightweight and comfortable – but it also needs to be constructed in a fabric that offers protection.
I see many women wearing their big floppy straw hats and yes, they look good and provide shade, but if you can see through the weave, then those UVA/UVB rays can see you too!
Like sun protection clothing, look for hats that are labeled as providing protection from UV exposure.
DON'T BE A STATISTIC
With so many great reasons to protect yourself and so much public education focused on skin protection, it’s hard to believe that the sun protection message is not sinking in. But it's not sinking it. I implore you, please don’t be a statistic, learn more about sun protection, Slip! Slop! Slap! the right way and enjoy the sun safely this summer.
Founder of Honeybell Waterwear
About Honeybell Waterwear: Honeybell Waterwear is an Australian boutique sun protection clothing label for women, founded by Annaliese Allen a Melbourne mum, sun lover and corporate accountant turned entrepreneur. All Honeybell Waterwear garments are made in a breathable fabric that is certified as providing UPF 50+ protection, the highest possible rating available.