5 Sun Exposure Myths It's Time To Bust!

Date Posted:23 November 2018 

The Australian sun is harsh! Skin cancer claims an alarmingly high number of Aussies each year, giving us one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world

Not everyone realises that sun exposure in the first 10 years of life plays a large part in determining your lifetime potential for skin cancer. Australia needs a generational shift in sun-safety in order to see the number of Australian’s diagnosed with skin cancer decline. So we’re here to bust some sun exposure myths!

Sun Exposure Myths It's Time To Bust!

You can't get burnt on windy, cloudy or cold days.

You absolutely CAN get burnt on days where the sun isn't shining!

Sunburn is caused by UV radiation which has no relation to temperature. A cool day in Summer has a similar UV index to a warm day. UV rays can penetrate through clouds and may even be more intense due to the reflection off the bottom of the clouds. The best thing to do would be to check the SunSmart UV Alert every day and protect your skin when UV levels are 3 or above.

Sun exposure in Winter isn't dangerous.

Sun protection isn't just for Summer! Just because it gets cold in Winter, doesn't mean the sun isn't still shining!

Just as you can get burnt on cloudy days in Summer, you can still get burnt in Winter because of those nasty UV rays! In Australia there are only FOUR WEEKS in the year where the UV level is low enough for it to be safe to be outdoors without sun protection.

So just like on those cloudy Summer days, in Winter check the UV levels and stay protected!

Myth: people with a tan are not at risk

People with a tan are not at risk.

No one is safe from the Australian sun. Regardless of your skin type, UV ray exposure can cause permanent damage to the skin.

Too often we just think of sun damage as a sun burn and don't think of the deeper and long term effects of sun exposure. Just because you're not burning doesn't mean your skin cells aren't in trauma, so make sure you and your little ones are still taking care in the sun.

You can't get burnt in the car or through a window.

Yep, you can still get burnt in the car! Glass can reduce but cannot completely block the transmission of UV rays. So you can still get burnt and have sun damage from spending a long time next to an untinted window when the UV is high. Be sure to still protect yourself and your kids when in the car.

Protect yourself and your kids when in the car.

Image Credit: @bubba_ric

Clothes can't completely protect you from UV rays

Image Credit: @holly.harris

There's no denying some items of clothing are more protective than others. Obviously long pants are more protective than mini shorts but there's more to it than that (and besides, long pants on a 35 degree day doesn't exactly sound fun). Some UV rays are still able to penetrate through fabric so unfortunately even some clothes don't make you completely safe (wow these UV rays suck!). As a general rule, items of clothing with a tight knit or weave are more protective as there are less gaps in the fabric for UV rays to penetrate. Try going for slightly longer sleeves and light and breathable fabrics with a dense weave as well as purchasing clothing with a UPF rating where possible (like our hats). It's also important to be mindful to double protect your skin with sunscreen, especially high exposure areas of your body like the shoulders and face (and don't forget your feet!).

Now that we've busted some of those sun exposure myths, go enjoy the sunshine (safely!!).

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide

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