How To Apply Sunscreen Correctly

How To Apply Sunscreen Correctly

We are constantly reminded that lathering on sunscreen is an important step in protecting our skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, but there's still plenty of confusion surrounding the correct application of sunscreen.

Young mother applying suntan lotion on daughter's face at the beach

Studies have shown 80 per cent of Australians don’t apply enough sunscreen¹, leaving them unwittingly more exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can lead to skin cancer.

Although figures are improving², Australia still has one of the world’s highest rates of invasive melanoma³. In fact, it was estimated that one Australian died every five hours from melanoma last year, and it’s the most common cancer affecting Australians aged between 15 and 39⁴. 

Wearing sunscreen is one of the most important ways to help reduce the risk of skin cancer, and application matters. Use the simple 7 teaspoon rule to make sure you’re aptly covered. That means that you should be using one teaspoon of sunscreen for each arm and each leg, as well as one for your face and neck, one for the front of your body and one for the back of your body⁵. Total application will come to about 35mL. Be sure not to miss any areas that are exposed to the sun.

When you apply sunscreen is just as important as how, especially considering 9 out of 10 Australians don’t know when they need it. Many incorrectly believe that sun damage risk is related to temperature. Yet, the major cause of skin cancer is UV, which cannot be seen or felt. Sun protection, including wearing protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses, seeking shade and wearing sunscreen, is required when UV levels are three or above, and sunscreen should be applied liberally before stepping outside – about 20 minutes ahead is ideal. It is also important to reapply every two hours, as well as after swimming, sweating, exercise and towelling dry, to help protect you throughout the day. Sunscreen should have high SPF, be broad spectrum, and water-resistant⁶.

Australian owned and made, SunSense offers the highest level of SPF that a sunscreen can provide for you in Australia*. The SunSense range offers SPF 50+^, UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection, and includes products for all skin types, including sensitive, dry or mature skin. Better yet, they’re easily absorbed and non-greasy.

Don’t forget to add protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses, and find shade where possible, to help you be better protected from those harmful UV rays.

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. 4 in 5 Australians don’t apply enough sunscreen – are you one of them? Cancer Council Victoria [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.cancervic.org.au/about/stories/australians-dont-apply-enough-sunscreen.html

2. Australia’s melanoma rates overtaken by New Zealand. QMRI Berghofer Medical Research Institute [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.qimrberghofer.edu.au/2016/03/australias-melanoma-rates-overtaken-new-zealand-2/

3. Australia’s melanoma rates once again the highest in the world. QMRI Berghofer Medical Research Institute [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.qimrberghofer.edu.au/2019/02/australias-melanoma-rates-once-again-highest-in-the-world/

4. Melanoma facts and statistics. Melanoma Institute Australia [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.melanoma.org.au/understanding-melanoma/melanoma-facts-and-statistics/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj9TdzOej6wIVmAVyCh0DGQTzEAAYASAAEgKW6_D_BwE

5. Slop on sunscreen. SunSmart [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from:

https://www.sunsmart.com.au/protect-your-skin/slop-on-sunscreen

6. 9 in 10 Australians don’t know when they need sun protection. Cancer Council [Internet]. [cited 18 August 2020]. Available from: https://www.cancer.org.au/media-releases/2018/9-in-10-australians-dont-know-when-they-need-sun-protection

* Highest label claim allowed as per AS:NZS 2604:2012; Very High, SPF 50+, Broad Spectrum. Excludes SunSense Clear Mist SPF 50, SunSense Clear Gel SPF 50, SunSense Aftersun Cooling Crème Gel and SunSense Aftersun Cooling Spray.

^ Excludes SunSense Clear Mist SPF 50, SunSense Clear Gel SPF 50, SunSense Aftersun Cooling Crème Gel and SunSense Aftersun Cooling Spray.