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How to make sunscreen part of your daily routine

A woman smiles with a blob of sunscreen on the end of her nose.
Once you make it part of your routine, wearing sunscreen every day is no big deal (but it just might save your life!)

Finding the ‘slop’ part of ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide’ difficult to fit into your daily routine? In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 or above for the majority of daylight hours all year round, which means sun protection is required nearly every day of the year. Follow these tips for making sunscreen an automatic part of your everyday.

1. Start preventing sun damage first thing in the morning

It takes about 20 minutes for sunscreen to start providing you with full protection after you put it on. Make a habit of putting your sunscreen on each morning when you brush your teeth, so that by the time you leave the house, your sunscreen is ready to get to work.

2. Always carry a tube of your favourite sunscreen

When your plans change from indoors to outdoors, don’t get caught out in the sun without protection. Keeping a small tube of sunscreen in your bag or at your workplace means that you can top up your sun protection at a moment’s notice. For extra protection, pack a broad-brimmed hat as well.

3. Be prepared to reapply sunscreen throughout the day

Sunscreen doesn’t last all day, so you’ll need to reapply to make sure you get full protection. Make a habit of putting on more sunscreen before you head outside for your lunch break. Even if you’re not planning to go outside, remember that UVA radiation can pass through some types of glass windows, so topping up your sun protection regardless of your afternoon schedule is a good idea.

A woman puts a tube of sunscreen in her handbag.

4. Make your garage a hub for sun safety

If you’ve got a car or bike, make your garage your sun safety hub. You can leave broad-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses in the car ready for any outdoor excursions. Put a container of sunscreen on an easy-to-see shelf so that you remember to slap it on (sunscreen shouldn’t be left in the car, as hot temperatures can affect the ingredients).

5. Investigate different sunscreen formulas until you find your fit

If you’re not using sunscreen daily because you don’t like the feel of it on your skin, it might be time to re-look at your options. Sunscreen needs to stay on your skin to do its job, particularly if you’re swimming or getting sweaty. So sunscreens, especially water-resistant ones, might feel tacky or filmy on your skin.

There is now a broad range of sunscreens available, some with a ‘non-greasy’ or ‘dry touch’ feel. If the feeling of sunscreen on your skin is going to put you off wearing it, try different options until you meet a product that’s your match, rather than not wearing sunscreen at all.

More information

Want to take your sunscreen use to pro level? Follow the links below for more information about using sunscreen correctly.

How sunscreen works

Going swimming? Here’s how to get the most out of your sunscreen

Sun safety and skin cancer

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Last updated: 14 January 2020