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By now, most of us know that wearing broad-spectrum, high-protection sunscreen is important for skin health.
When used as directed and in conjunction with other sun protection measures (see: the other four elements of Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek, Slide), it has been shown to help prevent skin cancer and melanoma.
But should you wear sunscreen every day? Yes. And I’m here to explain why.
1 in 17 Aussies will be diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 85. Now, yes, that is a scary stat.
Wearing sunscreen is essential for skin health because it helps to protect against the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
UV radiation causes skin damage (yes, even when you don’t burn) and premature ageing, and increases the risk of skin cancer and melanoma. (Per the Melanoma Institute, 95% of melanomas are caused by overexposure to UV rays).
PS. Using anti-ageing skincare is a waste of time unless you also use SPF!
Why Should You Wear SPF All Year Round (Not Just In Summer).
Simply put, sunscreen should be worn every day because we have one of the highest levels of UV exposure anywhere on Earth here in Aus. (Hence our unofficial title as the skin cancer capital of the world.) The Cancer Council recommends wearing sunscreen when the UV Index is 3 and above.
And if you take a look at the BoM’s average UV index, you’ll see that in most of Australia, most of the year, the UV index reaches 3 or above.
A quick reminder that UV rays are not able to be felt and are still present even when the weather isn’t warm or sunny – depending on where you live, they can reach moderate to extreme (!) levels in the depths of winter.
The Cancer Council recommends wearing sunscreen when UV levels are below 3 if you work outside, will be near reflective surfaces (snow, water), or are outdoors for “extended periods”.
You can check daily UV levels with the SunSmart app, but why not incorporate SPF into your morning routine so you never forget to put it on?
What Are the Benefits of SPF?
Do you have a sunscreen favourite? Which brand do you use?
Our top picks: