At the beginning and end of the day, when UV is below 3, the sun is to be enjoyed.

But if you’re not protecting yourself when the UV level reaches 3 and above, it’s doing damage to your skin that increases your risk of skin cancer.

This can have enormous physical, mental and emotional impacts.

The truth about skin damage

While a lot of Australians know the danger of too much sun, many still think that it’s heat that causes sunburn and skin damage.

The truth is, it’s UV that causes the damage, and unlike heat, UV can’t be felt.

It doesn’t have to be a warm day for UV to reach dangerous levels either. The UV Index can be used to let you know when to protect yourself and your family from UV radiation.

What can you do to protect yourself?

To protect yourself throughout the day, make sure to regularly check the UV index by downloading and using the SunSmart Global UV app. It’s also important to protect yourself by making sunscreen part of your morning routine, swapping your cap for a hat with a wide brim, wearing long sleeves and sunglasses, and always staying in the shade where possible.

Check the UV index

Checking the UV Index helps you know when protect your skin from the sun. It tells you the time of day you need to be SunSmart (when the UV is 3 or above) and also what the maximum UV level will be for the day. This normally happens around the middle of the day, when the sun is at its most intense. At this time, skin damage can happen very quickly.


UV increases through the morning

Be SunSmart at UV 3 or above


When the UV reaches 8 shade is a priority

Fair skin burns rapidly at this level


UV radiation peaks at solar noon

This is when the sun is at it’s highest


UV starts to decrease after solar noon

Stay protected until UV is below 3


Below UV 3 no sun protection is needed

At this level fair skin is unlikely to burn


Download the SunSmart Global UV app

The SunSmart Global UV app provides reliable at-a-glance real-time and forecast UV levels for locations across Australia and the world.

Download for iOS Download for Android

Protect yourself in five ways from skin cancer

Slip on sun protective clothing

Slop on SPF30 or higher sunscreen

Slap on a sun protective hat

Seek shade

Slide on sunglasses

Help to spread the message

There are two sides of the sun – the fun and nurturing side, and the dangerous side. We need your help to spread awareness of the danger of the sun when the UV hits 3 or above.

You can help us by downloading this toolkit featuring important information and campaign assets which can be used to spread this important message.

Download toolkit

Don’t get on the wrong side of the sun.
Protect yourself when UV is 3 or above.

Check the current UV level

UV readings from around Australia

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Western Australia

New South Wales

Forecast Data