January is the hottest month in Australia and the sun is out to get everyone. And what is the sun’s most annoying and irritating attack? Sunburn. Today, I’ve looked around for the most common advice to help prevent bothersome sunburns.

Stay inside. I realize that I’m talking about going outside and dealing with the sun, but on the other hand, you could just…not deal with it. Or at least, not deal with the worst of it. Between 11 AM and about 4 PM, when the sun is at its highest, is when the sun gives us its worst. Try not to plan activities during these times to avoid the sun’s strongest attacks. This option works best for adults who are heading back to work after the holidays, but rowdy kids that need to get out and play should probably consider the other options.

Cover up. Yes, I know it’s hot and putting on more clothes seems counterproductive, but it’s a little bit of clothing or a stinging burn (or potentially a complaining child/spouse). Light-weight, breathable clothing is best. Sunglasses are a must and maybe a nice, wide-brim hat too. Alternatively, take shelter. Put up that beach umbrella or relax under a shady tree while enjoying nature.

Sunscreen. Simple. Effective. And obvious. Sunscreen should be a minimum of 30 SPF in our sweltering nation. In general, it’s best to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you plan to head out since your skin needs some time to absorb it. It doesn’t last forever though, so apply every 2 hours and again after swimming or sweating too much. And don’t forget those unexpected places like your lips and the part in your hair. Speaking from experience.

And there you go. The most common advice you’ll find about how to prevent sunburns. Pretty simple. You probably already knew most of this. So save yourself a lot of grief and fight that sun!

Thursday, we’ll talk about how to deal with the burns after you ignored all the steps mentioned above.

See you then.

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