It’s less than a week in and the Bachelor in Paradise contestants are looking more than a little sun-kissed.
In fact, viewers have noticed that many of them are pinky-hued and downright sunburnt.
But while this looks like a case of the contestants forgetting to slip, slop, slap – Cancer Council Australia warns their casual attitude to sun safety may be sending the wrong message to viewers.
Cancer Council Australia Skin Cancer Committee chair Heather Walker tells Mamamia getting sunburnt is not something to be taken lightly.
“Sunburn is a sign that skin cells are damaged beyond repair – and that’s why your skin peels off, because your cells are so damaged your body just wants to get rid of them,” Walker says.
Davey already looks to be burning on day one. Post continues.
The only way to prevent this kind of damage, Walker says, are the measures we all know and too often ignore: cover up with some clothing, put sunnies and a hat on, find a nice big shady tree to sit under when you can and, of course, regularly apply high SPF sunscreen.
And while most of us know that getting beetroot is bad for us, Walker warns that even the tan the Bachelor in Paradise cast will no doubt be leaving Fiji with is a sign of poor skin health.
“It’s not just sunburn that increases your risk of cancer. A tan is essentially a sign that your skin cells are damaged and they’re trying to protect themselves from more damage.”
“Any exposure to UV radiation is increasing your risk [of skin cancer]. So sunburn’s the excessive version of that, but a tan will still be increasing your risk.
“And the other side to tanning is that it also increases premature ageing. So your skin may look good in the moment, but that tan will fade and your skin will remember. You’ll end up with much more aged skin, earlier than you would have.”
We debrief on all the biggest Bach In Paradise talking points. Post continues.
Walker says she knows this challenges a pervasive idea embedded into Aussie culture of a tan being “healthy”.
“There’s nothing healthy about a tan at all. The idea that a tan is desirable, that it’s something that makes you look healthy, that it’s good for you or looks good – we want to challenge that idea.
“We’d prefer it if people were just comfortable with their natural skin tone, but if you’re not then there’s a lot of fake tan products out there. So if you absolutely must have a tan that’s the only safe way to get one.”
Walker says the Channel Ten reality show contestants may have been falling into the trap of thinking that the “Aussie sun” provides the only exposure worth worrying about. But Fiji’s proximity to the equator means the UV index will be just as high as north Queensland. (Reminder: we need sun protection while outdoors at any level above a three.)
“If you’re going abroad it’s a really good idea to check the UV levels to know what time of the day you should be using sun protection. It might be different to Australia, it might even be higher.”
Did you notice the Bachelor in Paradise contestants were looking sunburnt?