How much of a sun smarty-pants are you?

New Zealand has extremely high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It’s caused by having lower levels of ozone in the southern hemisphere to block the sun’s rays, and the fact that the sun gets closer to the southern hemisphere during our summer months. As a result, we have one of the world’s highest rates of melanoma, and it’s one of the most common forms of cancer in our country. Heavy tunes ☹

So, we thought it would be a great idea to give you the opportunity to find out how much of a sun smarty-pants you are and what it takes to graduate from the School of Sun Smarts. (Obviously all made up, but this is just fun, and who doesn’t like fun?)

 The Quiz header

The quiz is easy to complete. There are 15 questions and you give yourself the following points based on your answer.

3pts = Every single time

2pts = Majority of the time

1pts = Sometimes

0pts = Never

Let's GO!


1. I’m always rocking a hat – the top of my head has never even seen the sun.

2. Same goes for my arms, they are always covered up by a long sleeve shirt. I don’t even own any short-sleeved tops.

3. I’m a slopper with the sunscreen. It’s always on the higher side of SPF30 and of course its broad spectrum (no UVA or UVB rays are getting onto this skin).

4. I always apply at least 30mls of sunscreen.  (Think of a shot glass people, but instead of drinking it, apply it over your body. We do not advise drinking it).

5. I apply sunscreen 30 mins before I step outside. I know that it needs that amount of time to properly bond with my skin (you know, get to know each other).

6. I reapply sunscreen, to the second, every two hours. Siri & Alexa are sick of me requesting to set an alarm.

7. If I go swimming, when I get out, I immediately reapply.

8. Same goes when I towel myself off or start sweating, I will reapply just to be doubly sure. No such thing as too much sunscreen!

9. I’m always wrapping on some sunnies, and if they don’t deliver UV protection I don’t even want to know about them. I often wear my sunnies inside, just to be on the safe side.

10. I am a sun smart eater. I’m cutting up salads that are a party of carrots, tomatoes and other foods rich in lycopene (such as watermelon and papaya) plus Vitamins A or C. (That’s right! Diet plays a huge role in keeping our bodies healthy, including our skin. Certain foods are incredibly useful in terms of maintaining and protecting our skin, like the ones listed above).

11. In summertime, the concept of going outside between the hours of 10am-3pm gives me the heebie jeebies. The bonus of this is when I go to the beach at 5am – I have it all to myself!

12. When heading to the beach or outdoors, I will never leave home without my beach umbrella or sun shelter tent. I even take it to the supermarket.

13. If I don’t have an umbrella or sun shelter tent, I make a bee line to a nice shady spot and won’t move an inch until I am ready to leave.


14. I have NIWA’s daily updated sun strength web page on my favourites bar. It’s super handy to check when I’m planning my schedule. (Link here, its pretty cool!).

15. If I do have a run in with the sun and I come off second best, then I action my sun damage plan; I stay out of the sun, drink plenty of water and seek out aloe vera or after-sun skin products which are loaded with vitamins and minerals. I also have a good think about how this could have happened.



40+ Points PhD Level

Congratulations – you have achieved our highest level of Sun Smarty-pants! A Doctorate of Sun-Smarts.  We applaud your incredible efforts to fight the good fight against the sun's damaging effects.


25 - 39 Points Masters Level

Excellent work! A solid effort to educate yourself to be a sun-smarty. You’ve got the instincts and the know-how to stay safe in the sun and your body thanks you for it. Keep it up!


11 - 24 Points Undergraduate degree Level

A good effort and we think it’s great but there’s some room for improvement. May we suggest re-reading the quiz to get some handy sun smart tips?


>10 Fail

Oh dear. We say hit the books and sun-smart yourself up. Only good can come from it.


Like we said above, the quiz is all a little bit of fun. For some great info, tips and guides for being safe but still having fun in the sun you can visit the SunSmart website.