Sun protection is an important part of living under the harsh Australian sun.

With Australian skin cancer rates being the highest in the world, from a young age we are taught the importance of wearing sun protection.

Why do we need to use a sunscreen?

Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays and to help prevent premature ageing of the skin.

Are sunscreens safe?

Sunscreens must be tested to meet Australian standards and need to be registered with the Therapeutic goods Administration.  The TGA’s sunscreen regulations are among the strictest in the world.

With so many options on the market, how do I know which sunscreen to choose?

There are some important factors you need to include when choosing a sunscreen:

Is it TGA approved?

All sunscreens have a TGA number on their packaging so make sure you check before you purchase.

What SPF rating does it have?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.  The Cancer Council defines SPF as the amount of time it takes for redness to appear on the skin compared to when no product is used at all.

Is it broad spectrum?

Broad spectrum means that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays, the two types of harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. UVB is the principal cause of sunburn, but both UVA and UVB contribute to increased skin cancer risk.

Is it water resistant?

When you are at the beach, you can be in and out of the water so it is important that your sunscreen is water resistant.  Your body also sweats which can cause the sunscreen’s protection to diminish.

When should I use sunscreens?

You should be applying sunscreen when the UV index is forecast to reach three or higher.  You can find out the UV index in your area by going to the Bureau of Meteorology’s website

In the northern parts of Australia, that could be all year.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

Some people are under the misconception that if they apply sunscreen once as they hit the beach, they are protected. Sunscreen is best applied 20 minutes before exposure to UV to create a protection barrier. Sunscreen should then be re-applied every 2 hours.

At our practice, we recommend 2 products

– Avene SPF50+ Skin care range
– The Skincare Company SPF 50 Dry Touch High Protection Sunscreen Lotion

You can buy them from our Practice by calling (07) 3854 0500.