5 Sun Aware FAQs From SunSense

5 Sun Aware FAQs From SunSense

We’ve compiled a list of FAQs about our sunscreen range, and how to help protect your skin during the summer.

  1. Do SunSense sunscreens contain methylisothiazolinone (MI)?

Most commonly found in toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, methylisothiazolinone is a preservative which can commonly cause skin reactions to children and adults(1). SunSense sunscreens do not and have never contained the preservative ingredient methylisothiazolinone (MI).

  1. Are there any other ways to protect my skin from sun damage?

There are many ways you can help to protect your skin from sun damage. We’ve listed our top tips below:

●        Limit your time in the sun, particularly between 10am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are the most harmful as the UV radiation index is higher(2).

●        Apply a broad spectrum SPF50 or SPF50+ sunscreen to all exposed areas of the skin at least 20 minutes before heading outside, wear a hat and other protective clothing for extra protection and remember to seek shade.

●        Reapply sunscreen every two hours even if you’re in the shade and especially after exercise, swimming and toweling yourself dry. Remember to reapply sunscreen to your face!

●        Sun protection is necessary even on cloudy days.

●        Examine your skin regularly for any unusual changes or growths.

●         If you have any concerns, consult a doctor. It is recommended that everyone has regular skin check-ups every 3 months(3).


  1. How do I apply sunscreen?


When applying sunscreen to the face and body, follow our application method below:

●        Apply SunSense Ultra SPF 50+ sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors.

●        Apply 1 teaspoon (6mL) of sunscreen to each arm, each leg, front & back of body, and 1/2 teaspoon each to face and neck.

●        Apply sunscreen evenly. Use a mirror when applying sunscreen to face.

●        Be careful not to miss any exposed areas such as ears and neck.

●        Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Do not stay too long in the sun, even while using a sunscreen product.

●        Cover up with clothing, hats and eye wear to further reduce risk and carefully protect children and babies from direct sun.

     4. What is the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50?

Sun Protection Factor, also known as SPF is the measurement used in sunscreen for sun protection. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful sun rays to prevent you from getting burnt. How long you can stay in the sun is determined by the SPF factor of a sunscreen. Typically, it takes the average person 10 minutes or less of sun exposure before they start to redden and burn. A simple calculation can be used to understand the differences between SPF levels. For example:

SPF = Time to burn with sunscreen/Time to burn without sunscreen

SPF = 30 (Time to burn with SPF30 sunscreen)/10 (Time to burn without sunscreen) = 300 minutes (Five hours exposure)

SPF = 50 (Time to burn with SPF30 sunscreen)/10 (Time to burn without sunscreen) = 500 minutes (over eight hours exposure)

Due to environmental factors, both sunscreens provide adequate protection when applied every two hours and appropriate sun safety is taken(4). 


     5.  How long does it take to burn?

Sunburn can occur in as little as 15 minutes, which is why sun protection is so critical to the health of Australians(5). Melanoma is the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 39 and skin cancers are diagnosed at close to every half hour(6). Protection is necessary even on cloudy days as UV rays can penetrate light cloud cover – it’s often the hidden UV damage that we can’t see that causes the issues as we age.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use.

Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.




(1)   Megan J. Schlichte 2014, Methylisothiazolinone: An Emergent Allergen in Common Pediatric Skin Care Products, NCBI, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4197884/>.

(2)     Peter Lavelle 2006, How much sun do you need?, ABC Health & Wellbeing, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2006/04/05/1609208.htm>.

(3)     Skin Check WA 2019, Check your Skin and Moles, WA Education, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.skincheckwa.com.au/education/check-your-skin-and-moles>.

(4)     Joshua Townley 2017, SPF Explained, Ego Expert Skincare Hub, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.egoskinexpert.com.au/suncare/spf-explained/>.

(5)     Better Health Channel 2018, Sunburn, Victoria State Government, viewed 6 December 2019 <https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sunburn>.

(6)     Melanoma Institute Australia 2019, Melanoma Facts and Statistics, Melanoma Institute Australia, viewed 6 December 2019, <https://www.melanoma.org.au/understanding-melanoma/melanoma-facts-and-statistics/>.