Right now, learning how to be sun safe in every season is definitely a hot topic being widely discussed by women, mothers and the whole wellness community. And boy, are we glad, as glowing ambassadors for sun safety, we understand the dilemma most find themselves in.
It’s the desire to achieve that soft, supple, sun-kissed glow, with the harsh reality that achieving that kind of tan from the sun could, in fact, be harmful. Raising awareness, changing the culture and breaking the stigma around sporting a sunless tan starts and ends with our own approach and commitment to sun safety. How we live our lives daily is being watched by our friends, families and little ones… so here are six essential tips you need to know when it comes to sun safety in Australia… and beyond!
1. Get shady with sun-safe clothing
Alrighty, listen up, gang and hear us loud and clear, while we’re all for showing off a little leg (we’re definitely not your prude grandma), we have to admit…. Gran was onto something. Covering up as much as possible when you’re exposed to the sun is definitely a good idea… and yes, even on cloudy days. And no, we’re not talking tight, uncomfortable skivvies that get you gasping for air on the blistering hot summer days.
At Sontse, were all about sun safety but never at the expense of style and comfort. So a few tips for how to cover up in the sun, without ruining the look… think light, airy linen shirts and pants, soft flowing skirts and clothing using breathable fabrics with UPF protection.
Of course, completing your outfit with all the right accessories can also nail the resort-style look you’re going for, whilst ticking the box for sun safety. Be sure to also have these top three outfit suggestions, always on hand…
Our top two outfit completers for ultimate sun safety:
- A hat (broad-brimmed or legionnaire style)
- Sunglasses (large, wrap-around style frames)
A few things to note on sunglasses while we’ve got your attention:
The FDA released a particularly helpful article advising the importance of ‘Choosing sunglasses with a UV400 rating or “100% UV protection” on the label. These sunglasses block more than 99% of UVA and UVB radiation and provide the most protection against UV rays.’ (US Food & Drug Administration, 2022).
But that’s not all.
Understanding how deceiving the sunglass tints can be, they further warn...
‘Do not mistake dark-tinted sunglasses as having UV protection. The darkness of the lens does not indicate its ability to shield your eyes from UV rays. Many sunglasses with light-coloured tints – such as green, amber, red, and grey – can offer the same UV protection as very dark lenses.’ (US Food & Drug Administration, 2022).
Isn’t that interesting?
2. Be sun safe with sunscreen
OK, so which sunscreen is best to protect your skin?
According to the US Food & Drug Administration (2022),
‘Broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher... Broad spectrum sunscreens offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays, two types of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.’
In our own opinion, though, go for a SPF30+ just to be safe.
Making sure you apply it liberally to all exposed areas of your body is super important, and being aware that no sunscreen is completely waterproof is especially key.
3. Reapply that lotion, girl!
This point doesn’t need much explanation, so we won’t push the point. Just know that reapplying sunscreen multiple times throughout the day is highly advisable.
Be sure to read the label of your specific sunscreen.
And, of course, be mindful that swimming and sweating could significantly reduce the strength of the sunscreen’s water resistance, so reapplying every 40 to 80 minutes may also be important. (US Food & Drug Administration, 2022).
4. Avoid solariums like the plague
So here’s the facts, our fellow tan lovers…
‘Sun beds and solariums release UV radiation. UV radiation from sunbeds is up to 5 times stronger than the midday summer sun. Research shows sunbed users have a 20 per cent higher risk of developing skin cancer, but this increased risk jumps to 59 per cent if a sunbed is used before the age of 35.’ (Queensland Government, 2022)
‘Due to the increased risk of skin cancer from sun beds and solariums, commercial solariums have been illegal in Queensland since 1 January 2015. They are also banned in other Australian states and territories.’ (Queensland Government, 2022).
And, furthermore, according to the Queensland Government, choosing fake tanning products will always be a safer tanning option.
‘If tanned skin is important to you, there are fake tanning products available. Fake tanning refers to using a tanning agent to colour the skin.’ (Queensland Government, 2022).
Can we just take a moment to make this personal for a second? We all know someone who continues to engage in skin-damaging tanning practices, whether it’s an at-home tanning bed or spending countless hours in the sun. If this stirs your heart for someone you care about, be sure to forward the link to this blog, and pass it on.
5. Use only the good stuff on your skin
But here’s the thing. Not all tanning products are created equal. Your skin is your largest organ. It absorbs what you put onto your skin… so being sure to be mindful of the quality of skincare and beauty products that you apply to your skin is oh-so-essential.
As The Queensland Government (2022) suggests,
‘The chemicals in the skin dyes can react with sensitive skin types and cause allergic reactions.’
So, while we can’t talk for other brands on the market, we can assure the quality of our own scientifically formulated tanning products that have gone above and beyond the Australian standards for cosmetic products. Because here’s the thing… we saw the standard in our industry and gasped.
That’s why we reached out to independent third-party regulatory bodies who kept us accountable to ensuring that every single ingredient in our formulations is cleaner, safer and non-toxic.
You can read all about our certificates and standards here.
And, if you’re on the hunt for a clean, skin-safe sunless tanner that has made headlines for its gorgeous tone and commitment to spreading a more sun-safe message… check out our collection of sunless tanning products here.
6. Limit your time under the sun
Did you know that incidental daily exposure to the sun is likely to give you the vitamin D levels you need to meet your daily requirements? Even in wintertime! So here are our sun safety tips for reducing your exposure to harmful UV radiation.
According to the US Food & Drug Administration (2022),
‘Limiting your time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.’
So there we have it, friends, all the sun safety activities for you to start mindfully introducing into your lifestyle to live and breathe a life that truly promotes how to be sunsmart.
Want to learn more in this area?
Find out how to tan quickly and safely with this light read.
Written By Liana Pantalone – Beauty & Skincare Copywriter at Climbing Vine Co.
Queensland Government. (2022, October 21). Fake tanning, sun beds and solariums | Health and wellbeing. Queensland Government. Retrieved January 13, 2024, from https://www.qld.gov.au/health/condition/cancer/skin-cancers/fake-tanning-sun-beds-and-solariums
US Food & Drug Administration. (2022, August 15). Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun: From Sunscreen to Sunglasses. FDA. Retrieved January 13, 2024, from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/tips-stay-safe-sun-sunscreen-sunglasses