Apply SPF50+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen every two hours
Sunscreen is used to protect exposed skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation UVR. Sunscreen contains chemicals which either absorb or reflect the UV rays of the sun. No sunscreen gives 100 per cent protection from the sun.
Sun Protection FactorThe Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of sunscreens indicates the level of protection against UVR. The higher the rating the greater the protection. The highest SPF for sunscreens available in Australia is SPF50+. If used correctly, this can protect skin from 98 per cent of UVR.
Which sunscreen to use?Sunscreens which absorb UVR are the most common type of sunscreen available and also the easiest to apply to the skin. Look for sunscreen that is water resistant and check the 'use by' date on the bottle. Look for a product labelled 'broad-spectrum' - this means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen with SPF30+ or SPF50+ rating.
Zinc cream, which contains zinc oxide, is an example of a sunscreen that scatters or reflects UVR from the skin. It is generally used to provide additional protection to sensitive areas such as the lips, nose and ears.
How to use sunscreensUse sunscreen on any skin that can't be covered by clothing. Apply sunscreen generously to clean, dry skin 20 minutes before you go into the sun. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if washed, rubbed, or sweated off.
Don't use sunscreen to increase the amount of time you spend in the sun.
Always use sunscreen in combination with other sun protections measures: clothing, hat, shade and sunglasses.
For more information about sunscreens see the ARPANSA Resource Guide for UV Protective Products: UV Radiation Reference: How effective are sunscreens?