Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it is your duty to protect it.
Most of us know the dangers of skin cancer, and that exposure to the sun’s harmful rays is a well known contributing factor. The good news is that there are actions you can take to significantly reduce the risk.
Here is three key things to think about in order to stay sunsafe.
- When outside, cover up with clothing like a t-shirt, hats, sunglasses, or even stay in the shade if possible. If you’re surfing, a UV protective rash vest is awesome too. Cover like this is your best option because NO sunscreen can ever provide 100% protection.
- Be sure to use a good quality sunscreen on any exposed skin. SPF ratings indicate the level of protection against UVB rays only (SPF 15 = 93%, SPF 30 = 97%, SPF 50 = 98% protection). Also ensure it provides ‘Broad Spectrum’ protection from UVA and UVB rays, both of which may cause cancer.
- All sunscreens - regardless of SPF level - should be reapplied every two hours, or more often if you have been in the water, or sweating. Always be sure to use a good amount for thorough coverage; most people don’t use enough which will reduce the sunscreen’s effectiveness.
For more information, please refer to the Skin Cancer Society’s website.
Much of what goes on our skin will be absorbed into the bloodstream. What’s worse, skin cancer is one of the most common, yet most preventable diseases. As surfers, the sun is just one element that batters our skin — our largest and most exposed organ — often on a daily basis. So protecting ourselves with an effective and safe solution is the only answer.