There’s no bigger culprit than the sun when it comes to aging your skin. Harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun penetrate your skin, causing damage leading to visible signs of aging or even skin cancer. There’s no escaping the Aussie sun, but you can protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Being so close to the equator, Australia is bombarded by higher concentrations of UV, and Australians have one of the highest rates of melanomas and skin cancer in the world. Every bit of exposed skin is vulnerable to damaging UV. Minimize your exposure by wearing wide-brimmed hats, long sleeve shirts, and pants. Hats protect the most sensitive parts of your face, warding off wrinkles, discoloration, and melanomas. If you want more protection, you can try bringing an umbrella when the sun is high or the day is particularly bright. Umbrellas can provide cover for your whole upper body, allowing you to wear less protective clothing without risking sun exposure. Several brands are offering umbrellas that are specifically designed to protect from UV. However, almost any dark-colored umbrella can protect you from 98 percent of UV rays.
Sunscreen works as long as you use it properly. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out. It needs to permeate your skin and dry a bit to be effective. Any sunscreen will do — even the ones with the lowest SPFs can block up to 90 percent of harmful UV rays. However, sunscreen requires consistent application if you’re staying under the sun for prolonged periods. Sunscreen’s efficacy lasts for two to three hours. Cut that time in half if you’re sweating or if you’re exposed to any moisture. Sunscreen isn’t just for avoiding sunburns as even everyday exposure can damage your skin and cause it to age. Moisturizing skincare products can minimize or even reverse the effects of sun damage, and some of them even come with sun protection.
Block the Sun in Your House and Vehicles
You don’t need to be outside to get sun damage. Sun exposure in your very own home — or even while driving — can accumulate enough damage to age your skin and raise your risk of developing skin cancers. Large glass windows and doors designed to let light in also allow UV to enter your home. Install UV filtering films in your glass windows and doors. They can block 98 percent of UV radiation, and they provide some insulation against the outside heat. A few minutes of sun exposure as you’re driving to work and back may not seem like much, but constant sun exposure slowly accumulates damage. Take your car to a shop and have its windows treated with UV filtering film. UV film can be as colorless or as tinted as you want, so you don’t have to worry about changing the overall look of your car.
Sun damage is serious. It ages your skin and heightens your risk of developing melanomas and skin cancers. Take measures to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays and keep your skin looking young.