Health

Why the Cancer Council are saying NO to using aerosol sunscreens this summer

And there's no better time to deliver this warning than the first day of our hottest season...
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Fact: too many people in Australia are dying from melanoma. No, really – if we zero in on the alarming statistics as many as 13,941 Australians have been diagnosed with the deadly disease this year. Tragically, almost 2,000 of those people have lost their lives to it.

With numbers as harrowing as these, it’s no wonder experts are pushing the importance of sun protection this summer. Their latest sun-safe piece of advice? Steer clear of aerosol sunscreens.

Yep, according to the Cancer Council, aerosol sunscreens aren’t as good at protecting you from the sun’s harmful UV rays as you may have first thought.

As reported by the Herald Sun, the Cancer Council’s chief executive, Professor Sanchia Aranda, pinpoints how this type of sunscreen can be problematic for Aussies and their families.

“People seem to be using them a bit like a mosquito repellent, whereas you’re still trying to get exactly the same amount on as you would with a cream sunscreen,” she explains.

“If you are going to continue to use an aerosol, make sure you get that amount on and rub it in as you would a normal sunscreen.”

The take-home message here? Know how much sunscreen you’re applying.

Cancer Council Victoria’s tips on sun safety

  • Use a generous amount of sunscreen. The average-sized adult needs a teaspoon of sunscreen for their head and neck, each limb and for the front and the back of the body. That is about 35ml of sunscreen for one full body application

  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside and re-apply again every two hours (whether or not the label tells you to do this)

  • Remember to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating

  • If you have an allergic reaction to a sunscreen, try another brand or look for a fragrance-free product such as a toddler or sensitive sunscreen. A doctor or chemist could also offer advice about choosing another product.

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