When you live in a sunburnt country like Australia, you become accustomed to the heat of the sun and for most of us growing up here the slip, slop, slap message has always been pretty clear.
And yet, two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they reach the age of 70?
These statistics are sobering and serious, and if we are to decrease the rate of skin cancer in this country, we need to remain vigilant.
What causes skin cancer?
The answer seems obvious — the sun.
But what’s happening to the skin when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation?
With excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, your DNA, the blueprint of your cells becomes damaged. If the body is unable to repair damaged skin through its natural repair mechanisms, then the potential for dysfunctional cell replication can occur, triggering abnormal growth of skin cells which can eventually lead to skin cancer.
Three types of skin cancer.
There are three major skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which are both categorised as non-melanoma skin cancers and the third, and sadly, the deadliest is melanoma.
Here in Australia during the summer months, we receive 15% more UV radiation than the northern hemisphere, which puts us at a much higher risk in comparison to other countries.
Of course, this is not happy news for your skin and reminds us of the importance of proper sun protection.
Skin cancer and sun damage are preventable, and if we listen to the advice of skin and health care professionals, we can reduce the incidence of skin cancer in Australia.
Appropriate sun protection reduces the risk of developing a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by 40 per cent and will lower your risk of melanoma by 50 per cent.
Prevention and early detection should be high on your list of things you can do to reduce our risk.
We’ve come up with 7 things you can do this summer to reduce your risk.
1. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects you from UVB (the rays that burn) as well as the DNA damaging rays of UVA.
2. Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors.
3. If you plan to be out in the sun for longer than 60 minutes? Reapply. Reapply. Reapply. But, even with reapplication, eventually, especially if you have a fair to medium skin tone it’s time take cover in the shade.
4. Sunscreen, no matter the SPF rating, it cannot completely protect you from the intensity of summer heat. It’s best to avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
5. If you’re spending time out on the water, especially if surfing, then a Zinc based sunscreen is your best option as it’s more water-resistant than chemical sunscreens.
6. Wear a hat, and lightweight clothing to provide extra protection and seek out a shady spot under a tree or umbrella.
7. Often the reason that keeps you from adequate protection is that it’s so hard to find a sunscreen you love. Find a sunscreen that you like wearing and wear it 365 days of the year.
Five tried and true sunscreens we think you’ll love.
Environ Rad Sunscreen SPF15+
A face and body sunscreen formulated with filters to shield you from UVA and UVB protection, along with antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E which help to fight free radicals triggered by the sun.
Sunscreen Actives: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Titanium Oxide. Retails for $60
Aspect Hydrashield SPF 15+
A hydrating face cream that will help protect against the environment.
Lightweight and fast-absorbing. This formula is loaded with antioxidants, skin hydrating ingredients, and nourishing botanical oils to protect your skin.
Hydra Shield is especially suitable for dry and sensitive skin types.
Sunscreen Actives: Zinc Oxide. Retails for $77
Aspect Envirostat SPF 50 with Vitamin E
A complex blend of chemical compounds offers maximum protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Suitable for all skin types.
Sunscreen Actives: Homosalate, Octocrylene Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane and Methylbenzylidene Camphor, Diethylamino hydroxy benzoyl hexyl benzoate. Retails for $30
Sunforgettable Du Soleil Tinted Foundation SPF30+
Colorscience Tint Du Soleil is a lightweight multi-tasking formula that blends colour and suncare into one product.
The antioxidant-rich formula gives sheer foundation coverage with the bonus of peptides to support the strength of the skin.
Sunscreen Actives: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Retails for $79
Cosmedix Moisturiser SPF15+
Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin – the lightweight texture provides excellent hydration and nourishment for all skin types without feeling heavy or greasy. Supported by the natural oils of Jojoba and Olive oil to hydrate the skin.
Sunscreen Actives: Zinc Oxide. Retails for $73
We’re here to help you. If you’d like to know more, why not book in for a skin consultation. You can book online at www.selectskin.com.au or call us on 02 8034 2140.