There's nothing like hitting the beach or the pool on a hot day and soaking in some rays — that is until you get home and realise what you've soaked in is an epic sunburn. Sunburns suck, take way too long to get rid of and can make you the joke of the office come Monday when you show up looking like a lobster.
Photo by Pexels user Public Domain Pictures
It doesn't have to be this way.
There actually a handful of smartphone apps that can help you monitor your time in the sun, yell at you like mum when you need to apply sunscreen and make suggestions on when you should head indoors (or at least under that tree for a while) to prevent getting too toasty.
Created by the Cancer Council Victoria and VicHealth, SunSmart uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology to make sure you don't get too much sun.
As the app description explains:
The SunSmart app lets you know when you need sun protection across Australia and when its safe to get some sun for vitamin D, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year.
With a few clicks, you can find a 7 day weather forecast, the UV level and sun protection times for your local area in Australia so you will always be prepared for the day ahead.
Personalise the sun protection alert to remind you of the daily sun protection times, either at a time of your choice or when the UV reaches a level where sun protection is required.
Use the vitamin D Tracker to find out if you are getting enough UV exposure to help with your vitamin D levels.
Wolfram Alpha Sun Exposure App
Image courtesy Wolfram Alpha
If you're planning a road trip to the beach then Wolfram's Sun Exposure App can be just what the beach gods ordered.
The app has a five-day UV forecast built in so you can plan to go when there's the least chance of your getting burned and the app can make an educated guess (based on your skin tone and SPF you're wearing) on how long you can safely stay in the sun.
Image by sunZapp
sunZapp was developed by a team of scientists with funding from the US National Cancer Institute. The app uses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hour-by-hour data to provide real-time sun protection tips for you based on your location.
The app has a built-in timer to tell you when it's time to call it quits and will let you know you need to apply sunscreen. The Pro version of the app takes things a step further and lets you track multiple people at once or plan for a trip up to five days in advance.