We showed everyday Australians the hidden damage of UV rays on their skin

Sometimes the most dangerous things in this world are the things you can’t see.

For example, the sneaky calories in tonic water, or that table corner you’re about to smash into when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Ultraviolet rays also fall squarely into this category, but the consequences are far more serious.

A common myth is that once your sunburnt skin has recovered from its lobster-like state, then you’ve made a full recovery from sun damage.

Not true. The effects of UV radiation on your skin are lasting and permanent.

To show this, we decided to do a little social experiment: we took a UV camera out to Sydney’s iconic Prince Alfred Park to see if the revellers there would be surprised by the amount of damage that had already been done to their skin from being exposed to the sun.

From locals to British backpackers, the results were utterly fascinating as they were shown the sun-damaged spots on their skin in real-time.

Some were surprised, some predicted the damage, and others were validated that their sun-safe habits were paying dividends.

Stirling knew he had freckles, but the UV camera revealed more spots of sun damage than he expected.

One of the other intriguing take-outs from the shoot was seeing the immediate protective benefits sunscreen has from UV radiation.

As they covered themselves in SPF 50+ sunscreen, thick black streaks showed how the UV light was unable to get through.

So if you ever doubted the importance of not only wearing sunscreen, but covering yourself up with protective clothing and finding shade, watch the video in the player above. It might just save your life.

Sunscreen. It works.

Australia has the second highest skin cancer rate in the world, but it’s something we can fix really, really easily. 95 per cent of melanomas are entirely preventable – all you have to do is protect your skin.

You’re at your best when you’re not sunburnt, so look after yourself and get the most out of this cracking Aussie summer.

You too should cover up this summer. Wearing hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, using SPF30+ sunscreen and finding shade when UV radiation is at its peak are all smart ways to avoid sunburn. And seriously, who wants to be red while everyone else is outside having fun? As our friends at Pretty Shady say: ‘Be part of the generation that stops skin cancer, one summer at a time’.