Australian Cancer Council studies have shown Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. At least two-in-three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
How to look younger
Not only does sun damage cause cancer, it also causes premature ageing.
We’ve all see the women who have dedicated themselves to sunbaking for hours on the beach or weekly tanning bed sessions -- they are saggy, baggy and wrinkly. If you don’t want skin that looks like the wrong end of an elephant, try these easy hints to help prevent sun-damaged skin.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which may increase the skin’s capability to safeguard against some types of skin damage, including sunburn. It can also assist in stopping your skin from becoming dehydrated, increasing oxygen saturation and boosting blood flow.
Say "no" to sunbaking
Sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D, but this isn’t an excuse to spend hours stretched out on the beach roasting yourself like a rotisserie chicken. 20 minutes in the sunshine without sunscreen is plenty. Try to avoid doing this between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its hottest. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that sun beds are any better. If you insist on having a tan, there are alternatives like self-tanning sprays, gels, lotions and bronzing powders.
Restock your sunscreen
You might think you are saving the family a bundle by purchasing a bucket-sized bottle of sunscreen which will last for the next 10 years, but did you realise sunscreen loses its potency? Play it safe and purchase a fresh bottle every year.
Eat the rainbow
Dr Ralph Felder, MD, PhD, trained chef and author of The Bonus Years Diet has researched the effects of carotenoids and lycopenes found in colourful fruit and vegetables and discovered they safeguard our skin and eyes from the sun. Apricots, mangoes and papaya are found to be especially high in carotenoids, while tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit and guavas are high in lycopene.
It seems green tea is good for everything, including offering protection from sunburn. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published studies showing that drinking two or more cups of green tea a day diminishes the risk of developing skin cancer by 30 per cent.
Tint your car windows
Window tinting is not for boy racers who want their cars to look wicked. Glass does not filter out UV rays, so if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel (sales reps, truck drivers, couriers), you might want to check out the cost of getting your windows tinted. It’s a tint versus old lady driving gloves and a long sleeve shirt. What do you think looks cooler?