Being SunSmart is about practising safe behaviour when outdoors and exposed to the sun. Hong Kong’s environment is particularly susceptible to damaging UV rays. Spending a lot of time outside in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer.

Be SunSmart at all times and protect yourself against skin damage and sunburn by remembering to slip, slop, slap, slide and seek.

Clothing protects the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation by creating a barrier between the skin and the sun. Here are a few tips for choosing SunSmart clothing:

  • Choose loose fitting garments to allow air to circulate and regulate your body temperature
  • Garments with collars and at least elbow length sleeves are best
  • Wear long trousers or skirts, or shorts which are at least knee length
  • Wear close-weave fabric which will restrict the penetration of UV rays
  • Wear lightweight fabric, such as linen, cotton or hemp to keep you cool

Sunscreen protects the skin by filtering out most UV radiation before it reaches the skin. No sunscreen however offers 100% protection from UV rays.

  • Apply sunscreen generously, 15-30 minutes before you go outside
  • Reapply every 2 hours (especially when sweating or swimming)
  • Always use a high-factor (SPF 30+  and graded PA+ or above) broad-spectrum sunscreen

For more information on sunscreen read our Frequently Asked Questions.


A well-designed hat can substantially reduce the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching the face, neck, ears and head – common sites for skin cancer.


Exposure to UV radiation over a long time can lead to eye damage. When choosing sunglasses, remember:

  • Wear close-fitting, wrap-around styles
  • Look for the words 'good UVR protection' on the label or tag
  • Polarised sunglasses reduce glare and make it easier to see on a sunny day

Staying in the shade can reduce your overall exposure to UV radiation by up to 75%. Look for shade under:

  • Natural (trees or shrubs)
  • Man-made (i.e. umbrellas and parasols)
  • A purpose-built structure that is permanent, temporary or portable
  • A shadow cast from a nearby building