You might not have noticed, but Australia gets kind of hot in the summer time, just a bit. Since last summer lasted well into March, and since we’re only set to get hotter, we thought it was time to talk about it.
See, solar radiation is measured in electromagnetic radiation, called irradiance. In Australia, irradiance can hit 270 to 280 Watts per square meter, with some areas reaching 290. That’s more 50 watts more than America’s Death Valley, the Gobi, and most of the Kalahari. In fact, the only places that get as much radiation is a small area of the Sahara, Tibet in western China, and a couple of spots in the ocean.
Exposing yourself to the sun – or tanning beds – can cause premature aging, skin discoloration (not just a tan), and cancer. So, here are our top five tips on protecting your skin this summer.
TIP #1. SLATHER ON THE ‘SCREEN.
Don’t go outside without sunblock! Preventing UV rays from damaging your skin is a full-time job, and missing a deadline can leave you burned. Put it on everywhere that’ll see the sun, as well as under thin swimsuits like bikinis that don’t provide protection. Get a sunscreen between 30 and 45 for best results, and be extra sure to hit your scalp, the back of your ears, the tops of your feet, and especially your lips, where burns often go unnoticed.
TIP #2. FEEL THE RAIN ON YOUR SKIN.
And every other way you can get water in you. On the really hot days, you can sweat out three liters of water in a single hour, so drink up! Get a liter an hour, and, when you can’t drink anymore, use moisturizers, water sprays, and cool-water soaks to replenish your levels.
TIP #3. TAKE IT OFF.
You skin actually loves the heat. Between the temperature and the sweat, your pores get open and detoxify. The rising temperatures also make your skin grow faster, so exfoliate every night to remove the dead skin and unclog pores. Also, because the sweat makes makeup run, prevent clogs by going makeup free; you’re beautiful anyway!
TIP #4. CHEW ON THIS.
Some foods will naturally increase your skin’s ability to protect against UV damage. Red & orange fruits and veggies are colored with lycopene and carotenoid, has been shown to prevent sunburn. Flavanol in dark chocolate (yum) increases natural photoprotection, helps keep skin hydrated, and increase oxygen saturation. Brassicas, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, are filled with antioxidants that fight free radicals causes by UVA damage, and sweet corn utilizes its antioxidants to strength pigment in your eyes like a natural pair of sunglasses.
TIP #5. GET OUTTA HERE!
It’s surprising to think that in the sunniest country in the world, Vitamin D Deficiency is a problem. Unfortunately, one in four Australians don’t have enough. Vitamin D helps to provide a natural barrier between your skin and the sun, as well as so many other important things, so it’s important to get out into the sunlight… at the right times. Early mornings and early evenings will give you the vitamin D needed, whilst avoiding peak UV radiation hours. Between the hours of 10:00 and 5:00, take a chill pill. Relax in the shade with a mimosa or a stubby and let yourself cool off.