With a long, hot summer ahead, it is worth doing a refresher on the best summer suncare plan for you and your family. If you’re Australian or grew up in Australia in the 80’s or 90’s you’d be able to sing the lyrics to the Slip, Slop, Slap jingle in your sleep. The campaign, created to get Aussies serious about sun protection, launched in 1981 when the links between UV radiation and Australia’s climbing skin cancer rates became evident.
We all knew we had to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat and it certainly brought about some excellent habits but did you know in recent years the campaign has been extended to include SEEK shade and SLIDE on sunglasses?
These five suncare steps give us and our children the best chance of avoiding the suns damaging UVA and UVB rays which can cause skin cancer and speed up ageing of the skin.
When it comes to the SLOP factor, the latest advice from Cancer Council Australia and SunSmart is as follows:
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun
- Apply 5ml (or one teaspoon) of sunscreen per limb and rub in thoroughly. This may seem like a lot of lotion or cream but think about it this way – your skin is the largest organ of the human body and to give proper coverage, you really do need that much.
- Re-apply sunscreen two hourly or after swimming, exercising or towel drying to maintain optimum levels of protection.
- Buy the highest SPF factor possible. SPF50+ is the gold standard of sun protection in Australia and blocks 98% of UVB rays.
- If you have a reaction to a particular sunscreen, try a fragrance-free formulation or one specifically designed for toddlers or babies.
Remember the other elements of the campaign, SLIP on protective clothing whenever you can, SLAP on a wide, broad-brimmed hat, SEEK shade – particularly between 10am and 2pm and SLIDE on some sunglasses.