The beach lifestyle is very much a part of the Australian culture – unfortunately with that love of the water and the outdoors comes with it some shocking statistics when it comes to skin cancer.
According to Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they’re 70.
Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma is the third most common cancer in both Australian women and men, and the most common cancer in Australians aged 15-44 years. In 2011, 2087 people died from skin cancer in Australia.
We know the stats – or we should know them – but things are very much more real when it’s someone you know who has been diagnosed. The inspiration for this post came from Styling You reader Ruth.
I was just wondering if you’d consider doing a post on sun smart swimwear. During my recent second pregnancy at the age of 27 I was diagnosed with a skin cancer. Thankfully it was easily removed and now I just need yearly checks. I’m now a big advocate for sunscreen, hats and skin checks though. However it’s completely changed the way Ill be viewing our upcoming holidays. We don’t spend a lot of time at the beach but when we do I’d still like to be stylish. I’m struggling to find some “trendy” rash shirts. I’d love to find some reasonably priced ones I can pair with cute bikini bottoms and lots of sunscreen!
Ruth, I hope this post about sun-safe clothing helps.
Yesterday, we tackled the part about actually getting over ourselves and getting into a swimsuit. Today it’s about the cover-up – in and out of the water.
Sunscreen – SPF 30 or 50+ – should be a given before adding any of the below items. As is keeping out of the sun during the peak UV times of the day.
Rash guards, vests or shirts have come a long way and are not just for kids. Most major swimwear companies are now offering flattering alternatives for those who want to spend a lot of time in the water but be protected at a greater level than sunscreen alone.
More of a quick-dip-then-back-under-the-umbrella-kind-of-girl? Yep, I get that. That’s my typical beach or pool behaviour. Lightweight kaftans, beach dresses or cover-ups in cotton, viscose or rayon are my friends. They keep my shoulders protected and offer me a bit of modesty if I’m heading off the beach to grab a coffee. Most don’t offer neck and chest coverage so I’m doubly conscious of sunscreen in this zone.
(STAY TUNED: On Monday, I’ll be talking about the more fancy kaftans … the kind of beach or resort wear that will take you out into the evening or be perfect for a beach wedding).
1. Bigola poncho $77 @ Gidget’s Beach Shack | 2. Blue Bungalow dress $69 | 3. Bella Lido kaftan $99 | 4. Mist dress $185 @ Treasure Emporium | 5. Heartfelt Designs kurta $115 | 6. Full Moon kaftan $79.95 @ Sequins and Sand
Packing a lightweight scarf or sarong can double as a sun-safe wrap. There are also fabulous products on the market that serve this specific purchase in fabrics that have a UPF 50+ rating.
The original sun-safe pool and beach option is a wide-brimmed hat. Our kids have a “no hat; no play” policy and so should we. I struggle with hat purchases because of the size of my head – it’s big – but I don’t let that deter the hunt. And if anyone can tell me where my “lost” Helen Kaminski hat from last summer has disappeared to, I’ll love you forever. It was the first straw hat that actually fit and could be folded into my bag. It was so worth the money.
Over to you, how do you tackle being sun-safe at the beach and around the pool? Fave stores or labels to find sun-safe clothing or accessories?