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Race Day Survival Guide: A Must Read Guide for All Racegoer's

Friday 7 October, 2011 by Cairín

With spring in the air and the Grand Final behind us, non-footy types across the country can be heard exhaling an auditable sigh of relief. The next big thing on everyone's social calendar is the spring racing carnival and following on from that is a seemingly endless line up of festivals and barbeques. In other words, summer's coming!

Melbournians love to dress up and flaunt their style at the track so I have put together a little guide for planning your day out. It's easy to get over excited about the first day out in the sunshine after the long, cold winter but looking like a beetroot in high-heels is not the way you want to go either, trust me.

So I have put together some tips to make sure that everyone enjoys the day without suffering from sunburn, skin damage and metamorphosing into a garden vegetable! Hope you find them useful...

1. Work that quirk
Like moths to a flame, the moment someone mentions spring racing, women everywhere began to resemble extras from Charlie and Chocolate Factory bearing signs of overenthusiastic fake tan applications or, worse still, solarium visits. Don't be a tanning tragic. Work that quirk and embrace the skin you're in. Not only will you extend your life by reducing the risk of skin cancer, you will also no longer look like a close relative of the pumpkin or carrot!

There is no such thing as a ‘safe' tan. Sunburn and tanning are not signs of good health - they are signs of your skin cells in trauma. So if your outfit must have a sun-kissed glow, try faking it, not baking it, but remember the first of the tan commandments: Thou shall not skimp on the sun protection if thou fake tans.

If you think solariums are safe, think again! Solariums emit dangerous levels of UV radiation, up to six times as strong as the midday summer sun and seriously increase your risk of melanoma.

2. Frock on!
We all know how important it is to get the dress right. This season is all about bright colours so don't be shy! Bright oranges, pinks and yellows are all great options. But don't forget to bring a light wrap or jacket to cover up and keep shoulders and arms protected.

3. Millinery marvels
An elegant hat that shades your face will keep you looking fresh on the day and ageless through the years by protecting your face and neck from harmful UV. It's a fact that 80 per cent of wrinkles are from sun exposure so keep your youthful looks and avoid the need for any painful facelifts later!

If you're fixated on a fascinator, try adding a parasol to your look. The ultimate girly accessory, they not only look pretty but they also protect your skin from the sun.

4. Sunny-side up!
Choose sunglasses which match your face shape - think Jackie O style for square faces and petite styles for heart shaped faces. Wrap arounds are essential to protect the eyes and keep the crows feet at bay. Just make sure they meet Australian Standards!

5. Shady lady
Stay cool under the shade of a tree and prevent sun damage and skin aging at the same time. Seek a break in the shade. The cool break will reduce reinvigorate you and the shade will protect your skin from aging UV. Seek shade indoors, under an umbrella or marquee especially during the middle of the day when UV is most intense.

6. Save Face
Tailored suit - check, pressed shirt - check, Windsor knot tie - check. Fellas, don't spoil the look with sunburn. Apply 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen all over your face and re-apply every two hours. For the follically challenged gentleman, be sure to wear a broad-brimmed hat that covers the back of the head, neck and ears too.

Ladies, let's be clear! SPF 30+ make-up only provides sun protection for two hours and needs to be reapplied like all sunscreen.

7. Get app-y
To the surprise of most people, ultraviolet radiation (UV) levels rise rapidly from September, so it is important not to get caught out and go to the races well prepared. Even when the weather is cool and cloudy, it can take under 20 minutes for skin damage to occur.

Before heading to the races, check the daily UV level in the newspaper, at sunsmart.com.au, or via the free SunSmart iPhone app and find out the times of the day that sun protection is required. During the sun protection times, remember to:

• Slip on long-sleeved clothing to keep shoulders and arms protected.
• Slop on 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
• Slap on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your eyes and face.
• Seek shade indoors, under an umbrella or in a marquee especially during the middle of the day when UV is most intense.
• Slide on wrap around sunnies - make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Scars showing where skin cancers have been cut out don't make for a great fashion accessory, so sporting sun protection with your latest look is the only way to go this summer!

Back a winner at this year's Spring Racing Carnival and bet on slip, slap, slop, seek and slide!

What's your secret to having fun in the sun without the sizzle? Tell us your top tips and you could win one of three Cancer Council SPF 30+ lip glosses.... pucker up ladies!


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