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  • Why Is The Sun More Dangerous In Australia? Expert Insights

A lot of Australians are concerned about the harsh UV radiation and its impact on themselves and their loved ones but they may not know the exact reason why.

Read on and learn the answer to: Why is the sun more dangerous in Australia? Discover why you should consider natural tinted sunscreen for yourself, baby sunscreen for your little ones, and maybe even incorporate natural daily moisturiser for the whole family.

Reason #1: UV Exposure

Our Radiation Levels

Australia boasts pristine beaches and sunny skies. But living in a sunny country also means getting a higher dose of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In fact, the Land Down Under experiences some of the highest UV radiation levels globally. The World Health Organization even classified Australia’s UV Index as ‘extreme’. 

Why is UV radiation so bad? Though unseen, UV radiation poses risks, including premature skin ageing and eye damage, among other potential hazards. Additionally, it’s a prime contributor to different skin conditions and irritations, which is a pressing concern demanding consistent protection through sunscreen.

Risk Beyond The Summer Seasons

The amount of UV radiation varies across months and times of the day and it’s measured using the UV Index. In Australia, it can reach a whopping 11+ during the summer, which is the highest in the index. 

Even in winter, there are still invisible, harmful rays to watch out for. A winter day in Australia can hit UV Index levels up to 3, a ‘moderate’ reading, so regardless of the season, everyone should be wary of UV exposure.

For this reason, despite cloudy or chilly days, don’t lay your guard down. UV rays penetrate through clouds and cold weather. Daily sun protection is not just good to know; it’s a lifestyle necessity.

Reason #2: Geographical Factors

Clear Skies

Australia’s climate condition is another geographical factor driving the country’s UV levels. Given our distinct, clear blue skies, we are at a higher risk for UV radiation exposure. A cloudless day acts as a wide-open gate for UV rays, unobstructed by cover. 

In addition to this, reflections from water bodies and sand further enhance UV radiation levels. 

However, just remember that a clear blue day may be suitable for a beach trip, but it is also potentially damaging to your skin, and shielding yourself in such conditions is critical. 

So, while we embrace the beautiful weather Australia offers, it’s crucial to take essential protective measures against harmful UV radiation.

Reason #3: Skin Cancer Concerns

High Rates 

Australia reports one of the most significant skin cancer rates globally. Research reveals that over two-thirds of Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70. This condition is mainly driven by exposure to powerful UV radiation and genetics.

How To Protect Yourself From The Sun

Sunscreen As An Essential

Now that you’re no longer asking ‘Why is the sun more dangerous in Australia?’ it’s time to face UV rays. 

Combating the sun’s harsh effects means taking care of our skin, and this shouldn’t be such a challenge for us. Our means of protecting ourselves and our families is within arm’s reach: sunscreen. 

Beyond blocking out harmful UV rays, sunscreen also typically reduces the risk of malignant melanomas and other forms of skin cancer. If you consistently incorporate sunscreen into your daily routine and teach your children or family members to do the same, you can make strides in protecting them from complications in the future.

As you enjoy the Australian outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun today so you can enjoy it tomorrow comfortably.

Choose the Right Sunscreen 

Not all sunscreens promise the same protection. When selecting a sunscreen, there are a few crucial aspects to consider. 

First and foremost is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), an indicator of how much UV radiation protection the product can offer. With this in mind, an SPF of at least 30 is typically recommended for sun protection.

The product’s broad spectrum coverage is equally important. This ensures protection against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA can generally cause premature skin ageing, while UVB can typically lead to sunburns and the formation of harmful skin cancers. 

The next crucial detail to examine is the product’s water resistance. While sunscreens can never be completely waterproof or sweatproof, water-resistant options can provide protection in water or during heavy sweating for up to four hours.

Finally, eco-friendly sunscreens help you care for marine life. Some options contain ingredients known to harm our oceans through coral bleaching. But thankfully, environmentally-conscious alternatives are now available. These reef-safe sunscreens use substances like zinc oxide, which are not just kind to the environment but are also physically blocking agents that offer broad-spectrum coverage.

Key Points To Remember

  • Extreme UV Exposure. Australia experiences some of the highest UV radiation levels globally, classified as 'Extreme' by the World Health Organization. UV radiation is a prime contributor to skin conditions and requires consistent protection through sunscreen.
  • Year-Round Risks. The UV Index in Australia can be extremely high, even during winter, with levels reaching up to 3 or moderate. This shows that Australians need to protect themselves from UV rays throughout the year, regardless of the weather.
  • Geographical Influence. Australia's clear skies contribute to its high UV exposure, which intensify the UV radiation everyone is exposed to.
  • High Skin Cancer Rates. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with over two-thirds of Australians diagnosed by the age of 70. This high incidence is attributed to potent UV radiation and genetic factors.
  • Importance of Sun Protection. Sunscreen is essential for combating UV radiation. It is best to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays as well as its water-resistant properties. Eco-friendly options also protect both skin and the environment, particularly the coral reefs that could be affected by sunscreen ingredients.

Passionate about natural skincare and suncare, Little Urchin champions sustainability and well-being through its Australian-made and cruelty-free products with recycled packaging. Here, our commitment extends beyond sun protection, aiming to nurture communities and secure a healthier future for all.