We’ve all heard of the ozone layer. It’s that natural gaseous layer in the earths upper atmosphere, around 15 to 30km above the earth’s surface that basically protects life on Earth. You see it absorbs ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the sun. It’s this UV radiation that is linked to skin cancer.

For Australia, that ozone layer above us has thinned. Around 5 – 9% depletion over Australia since the 1960s, although the depletion of the ozone has started to slow down since the Montreal Protocol was introduced in the 1980s.

Australians already face increased risk from over-exposure to UV radiation resulting from our outdoor lifestyle. Plus, the closer to the equator someone lives the greater the amount and intensity of sun exposure they receive with Queensland reporting much higher rates than New South Wales, which is in turn higher than Victoria.

Our skins excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, causes DNA damage to skin cells. If this damage is not repaired by the body’s internal DNA repair machinery the abnormal growth of cells can be triggered which leads to cancers.

Now skin cancer is one of Australia’s most common cancers, with data showing almost a million cases of skin cancer back in 2015 and, as the days warm up, due to the earths elliptical orbit the southern hemisphere is 1.7% closer to the sun during Australia’s summer. This increases UV exposure by 7%. 

So, in summary that’s a lot of UV Australians have to deal with in the warmer months. But before you decide to move underground there are more practical methods to cover up and avoid harmful UV rays this summer

Wear sunscreen and not just when you’re heading to the beach. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with SPF of at least 30.

Wear sun protective clothing more often and not just for that beach adventure or hanging by the pool. Consider wearing sun protective clothing during any activity outside. Sun protective clothing, much like the tscudo tshell blocks UVA and UVB rays and is rated UPF50+

So, take care of your skin. Protect it from UV rays and enjoy the great outdoors.