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The importance of sun safety

In Australia, we've always been reminded to Slip, Slop, Slap.

This phrase has never been so important. According to the official ‘Cancer Council’, the percentage of adults who recognise the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday has dropped from 61% to 55% in 3 years. It turns out 17% of adults are actually more concerned about the contents of sunscreen than actually applying it to prevent sun damage to themselves and their children and 20% believe that sunscreen could prevent them from not receiving enough vitamin D.

The truth is we all need sun exposure, as the rays from the sun causes our bodies to create vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium to strengthen the bones. However, this process happens within minutes of sitting in the sun.

Too much unprotected time under the sun ultraviolet rays causes skin burns and further skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression and skin cancer. According the ‘Melanoma Institute AUS’,

1 in 3 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 70 and 20% of melanoma cases are Australians aged between 15 and 39.

Sun protection involves taking action to;

  • Use sunscreen, SPF30 and natural ingredient sunscreens are encouraged.

  • Cover up; wear clothing that offers enough protection by checking if you can see your skin through the fabric.

  • Wear sunglasses; look for frames that have 100% UV protection.

  • Avoid the strongest rays of sun during the day; this is usually from 10 am to 4 pm. Also, be aware of ‘invisible rays’ that can cause sunburn and skin damage on overcast days.


Written by Elise van Mierlo,

Certified Personal Trainer.

Co-curator of Femina & Co.

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