Tips for protecting your skin against UV radiation


Around 90% of skin cancers can be avoided by adopting simple sun safe strategies, when UV levels reach 3 or above take action to protect your skin by following Skcin’s Five S’s of Sun Safety…

Slip on clothing

• Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers between our skin and the sun and should be considered the first
line of defence.
• Clothing should always cover shoulders, but ideally as much skin as possible.
• A closer weave fabric will provide better protection.
• A high UPF rated fabric provides best protection.

Slop on sunscreen

• Always use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or above.
• Make sure it’s broad-spectrum and carries a UVA symbol (ideally labelled minimum 4 star).
• Store in an accessible, cool place and remember to check the expiry date.
• Apply a generous amount to clean, dry, exposed skin 20 minutes before going outdoors.
• Regardless of the instructions all sunscreens should be re-applied at least every 2 hours (more often if perspiring)
and straight after swimming.
• Remember to protect your lips with an SPF 30+ lip balm.

Slap on a sun hat

• Always wear a hat with a wide brim that shades the face, neck, ears and cheeks.
• A close weave or UPF rated fabric will provide better protection.

Slide on some sunglasses

• Solar UV radiation can be damaging to the eyes, so wear quality sunglasses.
• Overall protection depends on the quality of the lens as well as the design.
• Look for the European CE mark, which indicates a safe level of protection.
• Those labelled with a high EPF (which ranges from 1-10) will provide best protection.
• Ensure they are close fitting and wrap-around to stop UVR entering the top and sides.
• Remember price has no reflection on the quality of protection.

Shade from the sun

• Shade can provide a good barrier between our skin and the sun.
• Seek shade whenever possible, particularly during peak UV hours 11am-3pm.
• Keep toddlers and babies in the shade at all times.

Visit skcin.org for more information on protecting yourself from skin cancer.

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