Protecting your skin from the sun
When UV levels are 3 or above, use several of these measures to protect your skin:
|Slip on clothing|
Wear clothing that covers your shoulders, neck, arms, legs and body. Choose closely woven fabric or fabric with a high UV protection factor rating in a dark colour.
|Slop on sunscreen|
Use an SPF 30+ or higher broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen every day. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or doing any activity that causes you to sweat or rub it off.
|Slap on a hat|
Wear a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears. Adult hats should have at least a 7.5 cm brim. Hats for children aged under 8 years should have at least a 5 cm brim, and hats for children aged 8–12 should have at least a 6 cm brim.
Use shade from trees, umbrellas, buildings or any type of canopy. UV radiation is reflective and bounces off surfaces, such as concrete, water, sand and snow. If you can see the sky, even if the direct sun is blocked, the shade will not completely protect you from UV.
|Slide on sunglasses|
Protect your eyes with sunglasses that meet the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067. Wraparound styles are best. Sunglasses should be worn all year round to protect both the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes.
|Avoid sun lamps and solariums|
Do not use sun lamps, solariums or tanning beds (banned for commercial use), which give off artificial UV radiation.
|Check sun protection times every day|
Use the SunSmart UV Alert to check daily sun protection times in your local area. It is available as an app, online (sunsmart.com.au or bom.gov.au/uv), in the weather section of daily newspapers, or as a free website widget.Learn more about ways to protect your skin from the sun, and other sun safety tips, at Sun Protection.
Prof Diona Damian, Dermatologist, The University of Sydney at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Associate, Melanoma Institute of Australia, NSW; Dr Annie Ho, Radiation Oncologist, Genesis Care, Macquarie University, St Vincent’s and Mater Hospitals, NSW; Rebecca Johnson, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Melanoma Institute of Australia, NSW; Shannon Jones, SunSmart Health Professionals Coordinator, Cancer Council Victoria; Liz King, Skin Cancer Prevention Manager, Cancer Council NSW; Roslyn McCulloch, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Paige Preston, Policy Advisor, Cancer Prevention, Health and Wellbeing, Cancer Council Queensland; Dr Michael Wagels, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.