1. When to check
Dermatologists recommend checking your skin every month, plus a check by the pros at least once a year. Detecting skin abnormalities early on is key as the sooner you find it, the sooner you can seek treatment, which potentially reduces the risk of advanced melanoma by 63%. When checking yourself pay close attention to your scalp, ears, face and neck. A handheld mirror is a great way to check those hard-to-reach places or, better yet, recruit your partner or a friend to look for spots in areas you can’t see.
2. Know your risk
Australians already have an increased risk of developing skin cancer, since the bite of the Australian sun leaves us at a disadvantage. Other risk factors include having a large number of moles, fair skin that burns easily and those who have suffered from sunburn in the past, to name a few.
3. What to look for
When it comes to UV rays it is important to find a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, but what is the difference? UVB rays cause sunburn. They vary in length and strength depending on the time of the year; in the warmer months they are stronger, however they can have a damaging effect on skin all year around.
UVA rays, on the other hand, are always present no matter the season or temperature. They penetrate the skin at a far deeper level and cause damage to the cells responsible for the skin’s ageing process. You don’t feel the effect of UVA rays but they can penetrate the skin through glass and clouds – you will notice their impact more subtly through sunspots and premature ageing, such as wrinkles.
Both UVA and UVB play active roles in the development of skin cancer and it is important to note that the cooler winter sun can be every bit as damaging as during summer.
4. How to stay protected
No matter the weather or what your daily movements are, it is important to wear an SPF50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
Iantha Yu, Women’s Health’s resident beauty writer recommends that “the best way to incorporate sunscreen as part of your beauty routine is to layer it after your moisturiser and before makeup, and at least 20 minutes before you step outside.”
Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+ facial sunscreen boasts broad-spectrum coverage and a unique formula that is not only lightweight but is quickly absorbed with an incredible non-greasy, silky invisible finish that is perfect for going under makeup.
Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+ contains the highest* UVA and UVB protection and is ideal for women with normal to combination skin. The team at La Roche-Posay have included antioxidant-rich thermal spring water in the formula to help soothe sensitive and reactive skin, so for those who often have trouble finding the right sunscreen, this one’s for you.
“Sunscreen is a non-negotiable when it comes to your skin care,” Iantha says.
*Tested to AS/NZS 2604:2012; Very High Protection