Here’s a fact: Australia takes sun safety seriously. Being the driest country in the planet – the Australian government made sure that sun safety is imbedded in the nation’s psyche. And for international travellers to Australia, it would be beneficial to think and do the same. The outback sun can be quite the scorcher, so being sun safe is the way to go to enjoy your holiday and prevent sunburn! It only takes a few minutes of sun exposure for sunburn to occur – and this is especially true for the outback. Temperatures of 30C can have as much harmful UV rays as a 45C temperature. Remember, unprotected exposure to the sun can mean, we hate to say this – sunburn and skin cancer in the long run. Skin safety and cancer prevention is still paramount, so follow these tips and you’re truly ready for your outback adventure.
Protective clothing – choose to wear a shirt with long sleeves or cover as much skin as possible. Clothing protects skin in varying degrees – dark colours protect more than light colours, tightly woven fabrics offer more protection, and dry fabric is considered more protective than wet fabric. Even better, try to find UV protection clothing available in most sports stores.
Slather on the sunscreen – sunscreen offers important defence from sunburn. Apply liberally at least 20 minutes before your tour and reapply after every 2 hours, especially after sweating. People underestimate the amount of sunscreen they should use – liberal application means a white layer should be visible on the skin. Equally important is to pick the best sunscreen! SPF 30 protects you from up to 97% of UV rays and SPF 50 protects from up to 98%. Choose sunscreen labelled as broad spectrum (both UVA and UBV). Anything higher than SPF 50 is considered well, not probably true. It is important to note that no sunscreen protects you totally. Remember to put sunscreen in commonly missed areas – scalp, nape, ears, and the top of your hands.
Wear a hat – a wide hat is considered better than a baseball hat. Baseball hats fail to protect the neck and ears, which are easiest to get sunburn. Make sure the brim is at least 2-3 inches around the circumference of your head to protect the face, ears, forehead, nose, and scalp.
Wear sunglasses with UV protection – the eyes are very sensitive and it is very important to protect it from the sun. Costume sunglasses will not work, when buying, check the label and make sure that it indicates UV ray protection.
Avoid the sun – the best way to prevent sunburn is to avoid the sun, naturally. However on an adventure in the outback this may not be entirely possible. Try to avoid staying in the sun for too long during the hours of 10:00 – 14:00 where the sun’s rays are most dangerous.
Seek shade – during the day and when outdoors, always seek to stay under shade whenever it is possible. Extreme exposure to the sun at whatever time is dangerous for the skin.
Go in when it burns – once you feel your skin is stinging or is turning red, stay indoors immediately. Since sunburn is beginning to occur, staying under the sun would exacerbate the process and would result to painful sunburn.
Sun protection is a way of life and no matter where you are – it is important to practise being safe from the sun 100%. What are your top tips for sun safety?
Got your sun protection ready? Now book a tour with us to enjoy every bit of your trip to the Australian outback!