There are new guidelines out today for applying sunscreen.
It seems Australians have been doing it all wrong, and most people don’t apply enough.
The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) recommends at least one teaspoon (5mL) to each body part – at least 20 minutes before going outdoors.
The effectiveness of a sunscreen depends on how well it is applied.
The ACD say it is important to reapply every two hours and use a water-resistant sunscreen when swimming or exercising.
The Cancer Council will be changing their sunscreen packaging to reflect the new advice and make it clear that water resistant products still need reapplying.
The changes follow 400 complaints made to the Cancer Council about their sunscreen “not working”.
One of the complaints included a Queensland mother who said her three-month-old son was hospitalised with a “horrible rash” after using SPF50+ Peppa Pig sunscreen.
But after testing their sunscreens, the Cancer Council found human error was causing sunburn rather than their products.
“Research shows that most Australians don’t use sunscreen correctly and this year our analysis of consumer complaints taught us that reports of sunburn were largely due to inadequate application. This has taught us that we need to more as a cancer charity to educate Australians about correct sunscreen use,” said Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia.
Sunscreens that claim to be four hours’ water resistant also need to be reapplied because lab testing didn’t consider perspiration.