South Africa’s sunny skies mean beaches, bikinis and bronzed bodies but, on a more sombre note, all that sunshine means we are a nation at major risk of skin cancer.
Yes, sun is good for you as your body uses its UV rays to manufacture Vitamin D, which is essential for bone and musculoskeletal health. However, too much sun can be deadly, and a bad dose of sunburn at an early age can set your skin up to develop skin cancer later.
Even darker African skin can burn so it’s important to know how to take care of your body’s natural shield. People with dark skin and those who tan easily, however, are less likely to get skin cancer than fair-skinned people.
Don’t be tempted by solariums and sunbeds because they can emit up to six times as much damaging UV as the midday summer sun (in some countries, Australia for example, commercial solariums are now illegal).
Fortunately, there are other ways to get that sun-kissed glow: try a spray-tan salon or go the DIY self-tan route.