Australians have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians developing some form of skin cancer before they're 70-years-old. This makes sun protection very important for all Australians, all year round. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause sunburn, skin damage, eye damage, premature skin ageing and cancer.
There are two types of UV radiation from the sun:
UVB - this type of radiation is called UV burning
- Holds heat
- Can feel the heat on your skin
- Causes sunburn
- Most dangerous/strongest when the sun is high in the sky between 11am-3pm
- Stronger in summer than winter
- Has a larger wavelength, so it is only able to penetrate the epidermal layers
UVA - is called the ‘silent killer’ or ‘UV ageing’
- It does not hold heat
- Can not feel it on the skin
- Does not cause sunburn, which means it is hard to know if we have had too much sun exposure
- UVA is the same strength all day - sunrise to sunset
- UVA strength is constant all year round, summer and winter - whether it's cloudy, rainy or sunny
- UVA has a shorter wavelength, which enables radiation to penetrate the dermal layers of the skin - our deepest layers, causing this radiation to break down our collagen and elastin fibres causing premature ageing skin.
All Australians need a physical SPF 30 + UVA and UVB protection all year round even in winter when weather is grey and cloudy! Remember that you also need to reapply every two hours.