As Baz Luhrmann once sang “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.” It’s sage advice! Years of health campaigns have ensured that we all know that sun screen is very important. In fact, it’s essential to wear and regularly reapply sunscreen when out in the sun.
Sun screen defends the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays by forming a protective barrier – used properly, sun screen can help prevent skin cancer. Exposure to the sun also damages the skin and can worsen signs of ageing, so wearing sun screen will also keep your skin looking younger.
Use National Sunscreen Day as a reminder to make sure you are properly protecting yourself from the sun, such as by keeping out of the rays at the hottest time of the day (11 am – 2pm), drinking plenty of liquids and, of course, wearing sun screen!
Learn about National Sunscreen Day
Of course, National Sunscreen Day has been designed to make sure that people are aware of the importance of wearing sun screen. Sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer, and so it is imperative that everyone recognizes just how pivotal it is to wear sun screen. One of the biggest problems is that a lot of people feel that this is something that they only need to concern themselves with when they go on vacation. However, this could not be further from the truth. After all, even when the weather is cold outside, the sun is still shining, even if you cannot feel it on your skin, and so it can always cause damage. This is why it is vital to make wearing sun screen part of your daily routine. It is also why it is imperative to have a day whereby we educate people about sun screen and why it is important. In fact, a lot of people believe that if they have a tan, they are going to be protected from the harmful effects of the sun. Again, this is not the case.
If you are to protect yourself and use sun screen correctly, you need to make sure that you understand SPF and star ratings. SPF stands for sun protection factor. This is a measure of the amount of UVB – ultraviolet B radiation – protection that you are going to get from the product in question. SPFs are rated on a scale of two to 50+, with the latter offering the strongest level of protection. For the amount of UVA – ultraviolet A radiation – protection that sunscreen offers, you are going to need to look at the star rating. The more stars, the better protection. These are two of the most critical factors that you need to consider when you are purchasing sun screen.
Common myths about sun damage and sun screen
To help you get a better understanding regarding safe sun screen practices, we are going to clear up some of the most common myths about sun screen that people believe today.
- Myth 1 – I don’t need to wear sun screen if it is cold or cloudy. If the sun is in the sky, you need to wear sun screen, and the sun is always in the sky!
- Myth 2 – My sunscreen is SPF 50 so I don’t need to wear it as much. It does not matter what SPF is associated with your sunscreen, it is only going to last for around two hours, so you still need to re-apply.
- Myth 3 – I don’t need to reapply my sunscreen after swimming because it is waterproof. In fact, there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Water resistant, yes, but waterproof, no!
- Myth 4 – I don’t need sun screen because I have dark skin. It may be more difficult to see sun damage on dark skin. However, people with dark skin are just as susceptible to sun burn, so you still need to make sure you wear sun screen.
History of National Sunscreen Day
To understand the history of National Sunscreen Day, you really need to understand the history of sun screen itself. One of the first known prevention creams for sunburn was actually created in the 1930s by an Australian man known as Milton Blake. This product was the result of a lot of hard work and dedication. In fact, he spent 12 years experimenting in his kitchen until he was able to come up with a formula that worked. And boy did it work! The creams are still around today.
There have been a lot of advancements since then, of course. Franz Greiter, a chemistry student from Switzerland, was not happy with the sun protection products that were on the market. This was especially the case after he ended up with really bad sunburn after climbing Mount Piz, which is located at the Swiss-Austrian border. Because of this, he embarked on a mission to make sun screen better, and this is how SPF came about. The Piz Buin Glacier Cream was created in 1946. The SPF on this sun screen was only 2 at the time, but hey, this is where it all began! You’ve got to start somewhere, right?
How to celebrate National Sunscreen Day
There are a number of different things that you can do in order to observe National Sunscreen Day. We would recommend beginning by educating yourself on the most important sun safety tips. At a basic level, you should aim to use a minimum of factor 30 sunscreen. You should also take extra care with children, cover up using suitable sunglasses and clothing, and spend time in the shade during the hours when the sun is at its strongest.
Another way to observe National Sunscreen Day is to take the time to educate people about the importance of wearing sun screen. You may want to spend some time looking for insightful articles, blog posts, and infographics to share with your friends, family members, and followers on social media and your blog if you have one.
You can also look for real life stories whereby people have shared tales of suffering skin cancer because they have spent too much time in the sun without the right protection. Even if you reach one person with the content that you share, you are going to be making a difference.
Aside from this, you may want to look into different charities for skin cancer, and you can spread the word about these organizations or you can even look into fundraising options.
To fund raise, all you need is a fun idea that a group of people can get involved in. This can be anything from a fun run to a bake sale. Alternatively, you may decide to sell your own crafts and then you can donate the proceeds to a charity. Making your own straw hats and then selling a percentage of the profits is a great way to raise awareness and funds for this important cause in the process.