But how much more does it actually protect you?
There is no denying the fierceness of the Aussie sun that glows through our nice hole in the Ozone layer. We have a scary skin cancer and melanoma rate, being the highest in the world. As well as the very scary adverse sun effects, sun damage also takes a toll on Aussie skins, causing a huge rate of premature ageing. Most Aussies would know by now to ‘Slip Slop Slap‘ to protect their precious skin from our harsh rays. Now, with the introduction of a new standard of Sun Protection Factor, SPF 50+, does the whole protection routine become a little easier?
Before you spend an extra hour in the sun:
The new standard only requires a slight increase in UVB protection, with UVA protection actually being the main change in the formulation.
UVB are the ‘burning’ rays, which is the major cause of skin cancer. UVA are the ‘ageing’ rays – which contribute to some skin cancer, but mainly cause premature ageing. The Cancer Council is recommending that 50+ sunscreen is still used in the same manner as any sunscreen, which means applied liberally, frequently and in conjunction with sun protective wear. It’s still recommended to refrain from direct sun for 24 hours after reaching your own M.E.D (Minimal Erythemal Dosage) in the sun.
So, there is no need to bin all your 30+ sunscreens. I think the lesson that we all need to consider is that sunscreen is a very thin barrier between you and the sun. It’s a very important protection essential, but should never be depended upon solely, for protection from direct sunlight. Sunglasses, shirts, and the shade all the way! If that’s not your style, you better start coming up with a way to patch the big Ozone hole above us… then we wouldn’t have to worry anywhere near as much as we do!