As the weather heats up and days become longer, Australians are soaking up the summer sun but neglecting to apply sunscreen in a safe manner. Blooms The Chemist invites all Aussies to be sun aware and encourage people to replace their SPF 30 + sunscreen with SPF 50+ protection.

If you aren’t careful, a little too much sun could lead to sunburn, or worse, skin cancer. Exposure to sun attracts two forms of UV radiation, UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates deeply into the skin causing a tan while UVB causes skin reddening and sunburn, the major cause of some skin cancers.

While SPF 50 + sunscreen filters out up to 98 per cent of the sun’s UV radiation, all sunscreens sold on the market in Australia must be listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration and tested and rated according to Australian standard AS/NZS 2604:2012.

When purchasing sunscreen because consumers have the option of purchasing numerous forms, it is advised to choose one that best suits your skin type and physical activity. The various forms include lotions, milks, creams, sprays and roll ons.

  • Lotions and milks are sold with the advantage of being easy to apply and non-drying with the potential of leaving your skin feeling sticky or greasy.
  • Creams have the same ingredients but a thicker consistency to lotions and milks.
  • Sprays are non-greasy and easy to apply but can leave you without enough protection due to the light nature of the spray.
  • Roll-ons are easily to apply for small areas, portable and time-consuming when applying to larger areas of the body.

Some important features when choosing a sunscreen include: water resistance and skin sensitivity. Water resistant sunscreens resist wash off once dried, but should be reapplied often for maximum benefit such as after swimming every two hours. Those who deal with sensitive skin may choose a sunscreen containing more physical blockers and fewer chemical filters that is fragrance-free.

When going out into the sun, it is important to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before and again every two hours whether or not the product instructions tells you to do so.

The Cancer Council recommends five steps to protect against sun damage during the daily sun protection times, usually when the UV level is 3 and above. [1]

  1. Slip on sun-protective clothing.
  2. Slop on SPF30 or higher sunscreen – make sure it is broad-spectrum and water-resistant. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and re-apply every two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Your local Blooms The Chemist has a wide-range of sunscreen options from all your trusted brands. Our friendly pharmacy assistants are able to assist in selecting a product for your needs.