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Are you a sun worshipper? Then listen up!

A generation of hip young things have signed up to star in NSW latest sun-safe campaign, Pretty Shady.

Pretty Shady is designed to drive home the message of skin cancer prevention to sun-loving Australians. Even if you’re not on the beach baking that bikini body, you’re affected by the sun as soon as you step out the door, and while we all need Vitamin D, our skin needs protection.

Did you know sun protection can prevent 95% of melanomas? Pretty big deal, huh.

Collaborating with the worlds of fashion, sport, music and art, Pretty Shady has some pretty cool ambassadors including professional skateboarder Corbin Harris, fashion blogger Nicole Warne, musician Gossling, street artist Anthony Lister and pro surfer and model Ellie-Jean Coffey.

In between zincing up her face and turning tricks in the ocean, Ellie-Jean spoke to Coogeecat about the importance of staying shady.


Tell us about your involvement with Pretty Shady?

Pretty Shady to me is about not wanting myself or one of my friends to go through being diagnosed with melanoma. This is serious, and we need to know about the dangers.

Though my job, I’m out in the sun every day, and I am vigilant about doing what I can to protect my skin. I’ve jumped on board to use my influence to spread the message to other young girls and guys that you can enjoy all the beach has to offer and still protect yourself. 

Why were you keen to get involved?

I’m still young and I want to grow up with the best skin possible. Being a model and a surfer in the public eye means protecting my health and wellbeing. A tan is not cool, and neither are wrinkles or skin cancer – we must get this message out there!

As a surfer you must’ve grown up in the sun? 

Absolutely and I still do – most of my time is spent at the beach. It’s my home and something I want to be able to enjoy forever, so I never go out without sunscreen.

What’s your first memory of sun safe education?

Honestly ever since I can remember. When I was younger my parents, grandparents, and all their friends would look down at my little six year-old face and say, ‘You have beautiful skin little one, make sure you protect it well!’

How do you cover up?

I wear a bikini in the water because I surf the best that way. But I always apply sunscreen and re-apply every two hours.  When I’m not competing I’m in the shade with a hat, t-shirt and sunglasses on – always 

What are your thoughts on people who spend all day lying on the beach trying to get a tan?

Definite no-no!

Whenever I’m tackling the surf or training outside I always make sure I’m covered in sunscreen, a hat and a t-shirt. I’m out of the sun as soon as possible, and covered up in the shade. I make sure my friends do the same.

How do you look after your skin after spending so much time in the surf and sun?

I constantly cover up with zinc and sunscreen like you wouldn’t believe. I’m in the shade when I’m not surfing, I even have a huge umbrella I take down to the beach and sit under. I drink plenty of water. I wear expensive (and fashionable) Von Zipper sunglasses.

What products do you use and recommend?

I recommend Von Zipper sunglasses. Billabong has a great range of products that offer sun protection. The Cancer Council sunscreen and zincs are my summer foundation. We have a table full of their product beside our surfboard rack that we apply constantly. And remember to remove these products at the end of the day! Exfoliation is key! You can use basically any product even sand if you’re desperate!

What’s your plan for 2014 on the surfing circuit?

This year I am going to give myself the best opportunity I possibly can to make the World Circuit Tour.

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Interview by Kelli Armstrong