It doesn’t take a genius to work out that over summer the UV level is at its highest. But it might not be for the reason you think. Yes, it gets super hot, but the actual reason is a little more scientific. In summer, the southern hemisphere of the earth is tilted more towards the sun, which means UV rays have a shorter journey through the atmosphere to reach us here in Australia.

So you’re probably wondering what that means for you. Well, think about this for a moment. We should protect our skin when UV levels reach 3 or above. UV levels vary according to your location, though if you’re in the northern parts of Australia, you can expect to see UV levels reach 14, 15, or possibly even higher.

The reality is that the UV levels are so high at this time of the year that skin damage could happen in around 10 minutes.

And the damage adds up. That means that even if you do lots of short trips outside without sun protection, skin damage could be accumulating without you realising. Unfortunately the clock doesn’t reset each time you come out of the sun.

Although we need to be extra careful at this time of year, this doesn’t mean you are in the clear as soon as summer finishes. In most parts of the country, we should protect our skin all year round. So check out your local UV forecast. This handy tool will also show you the times of the day when you should look after your skin (whenever UV levels are 3 or above). It also shows you that UV peaks around the middle of the day, which is NOT usually the hottest part of the day.

And on the topic of heat, make sure you don’t get caught out as the temperature varies from one day to the next. A 26° summer day following a 40° one can do you just as much damage if you aren’t prepared for it.

Take care of yourself this summer!