4 Ways to Prevent Sunburn
Here's 4 ways to prevent sunburn this summer
Kia ora sun worshippers! It's mid-January and we are having a fantastic summer in Aotearoa New Zealand. Whilst sunshine is a mood booster, too much exposure can lead to a nasty sunburn. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential for maintaining a healthy complexion and preventing long-term sun damage (more on my personal experience with this later). In this blog post, i'll explore four effective ways to shield your skin from the sun's powerful rays.
Here's Four Ways to Prevent Sunburn:
- Track the UV Index
- Understand Sunscreen SPF
- Cover Your Skin
- Apply sunscreen often
The UV Index is a measure of the intensity of UV radiation. The larger the number, the more intense the UV and in New Zealand, its not uncommon for the UV index to reach 12! Values of 10 or more should be considered as "extreme". In winter it reaches peak values of 1 or 2.
Find out what today's UV index is in your region is
Understand Sunscreen SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
Sunscreen SPF indicates the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays, the type of radiation responsible for sunburn. The higher the sunscreen SPF, the greater the protection.
For daily use, a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended.
Cover Your Skin
One of the simplest ways to prevent sunburn is by covering your skin with appropriate clothing. Wearing long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses can provide excellent protection. Dark and tightly woven fabrics generally offer better protection than lighter, looser fabrics.
Did you know, clothing with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is specifically designed to block UV rays? Look for clothing labeled with a UPF rating for added protection.
Apply Sunscreen Often
Reapplication of sunscreen SPF is key, especially if you're swimming or sweating. Water-resistant sunscreen provides better staying power in these conditions, but it still needs to be reapplied at least every 2 hours.
Protect Your Skin: A Personal Account of My First Skin Cancer Check
Recently, I underwent my inaugural skin cancer and sun damage check at the Skin Cancer Doctors in Whangārei. The reassuring news is that I have no signs of melanoma or skin cancer (hooray!). However, a less welcome discovery was the presence of sun damage on my nose, a consequence of inadequate sun protection during my childhood and young adult years. Additionally, I had to undergo the removal of some keratosis from my hands, as both hands and the nose are commonly susceptible areas to sun damage.
This experience has prompted me to share my journey in an upcoming blog post, in the hope that it encourages you to start having regular skin checks and encourage the use of proper sun protection. Stay tuned for an in-depth account of my skin check adventure!