health

A video that shows exactly why we need to wear sunscreen.

I was at the beach with my niece one day when she was younger. It was a blistering hot summer’s day – typical of Australia. We were enjoying the sun (or so I thought) when my niece looked up at me and said, “It’s so hot, Lisa.”

“Yeah it is,” I agreed.

“No,” she looked at me seriously, “it is SO hot. It feels like there’s 1000 suns.”

This would have been almost 10 years ago now, and to this day I’ve never heard anyone describe the Australian heat more accurately. A heat that we are all too familiar with. A heat so famous poems have been written in its honour: “I love a sunburnt country.”

And it’s only getting hotter.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nivea. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

As a child I roamed the NSW countryside with, maybe, one coat of SPF15. We never reapplied it and I now have arms covered in freckles and an aging face of pale skin as a constant reminder of my childhood.

In recent years we’ve been told to use sunscreen to protect ourselves from the harsh Australian sun, but do we really understand why? It wasn’t until I watched this video that I really understood it.

Filmed here in Australia, this clip shows exactly why we need to wear sunscreen – because the sun sees our skin differently when we apply it. Once you’ve seen the clip (I dare you not to watch it at least five times, it’s so fascinating) you truly can see how the sunscreen we use acts as a barrier helping to protect our skin from damage.

As someone with pale skin I’m constantly keeping up with skin care and sunscreen recommendations. I’m also constantly informing my friends and family about the difference between SPF 50 and SPF 30. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) has absolutely nothing to do with strength but rather the amount of time you are protected.

Say you have pale skin like I do and you start to burn within three minutes. SPF 30 in theory protects you for 3 x 30 mins = so 90 minutes protection. SPF50 protects you for 3 x 50 mins = or 150 minutes protection.  Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

Another myth is how people with olive skin don’t need sunscreen (they do).

And how most people think you can’t get burnt on a cloudy day (you can). In actual fact, UV radiation can penetrate through clouds.

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There’s more to protection than just slip, slop, slap.

It’s a beautiful country we live in but a harsh environment we expose our bodies to at this time of year. We can still enjoy our beautiful beaches and rugged outback with our family and friends this summer, but we need to understand the importance of sunscreen to protect us from the sun and make sure we follow a few simple tips for sun protection.

Make sure to share these easy sun protection tips with your loved ones this summer:

1. Apply sun screen 20 minutes before exposure to the sun.

2. You need to apply approximately 35ml of sun screen to adequately cover an average adult body – that’s around the volume of a shot glass.

3. Reapply sunscreen regularly, at least every two hours – especially after swimming and towelling.

4. Choose a sunscreen that has a broad spectrum of protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember UVA is about ageing (depleting collagen, causing fine lines, wrinkles and freckles, to name a few of those tell take signs) and UVB is about burning.

5. SPF measures how long it takes for skin to show signs of burning. SPF 30 means it takes 30 times longer for your skin to burn, SPF 50 means it takes 50 times longer for your skin to burn.

6. Avoid sun exposure between 11am and 3pm when UV rays are most intense.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help you apply sunscreen for hard-to-reach areas, such as your back and shoulders – remember to take care of yourself and others this summer.

8. Be aware that some medicines can increase your skin’s risk of UV damage. Check with a health care professional if you are taking medication.

Remember … always read the label and use only as directed.

What’s your worst sunburn story? (We all have one)

At the beach, direct sun, heat and salt water leaves skin feeling dry and tight. Additionally UV rays are reflected from the sand and water, increasing your exposure to the damaging effects of the sun. NIVEA Sun Ultra Beach Protect Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ offers Very High SPF Protection + Vitamin E to strengthen skin’s own defences against sun damage.

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