Cancer Council Australia has announced a strong recommendation against using aerosol sunscreens , the Council has stopped manufacturing their own range of aerosol products due to concerns about how difficult it is use the spray effectively and achieve and adequate protection against sunburn. There is no need to discard any aerosols already bought, but to be aware of the problem with adequate protection and coverage if using these products. Approximately a quarter of the average bottle of aerosol sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours to maintain adequate sun protection and about 40 - 60 per cent of a typical can is sunscreen, with the remainder being propellant.

Repeated surveys have demonstrated most Australians do not put enough sunscreen on , nor repeat the applications often enough to get good sun protection from the various products

The Cancer Council National Sun Protection Survey numbers recently showed that the proportion of adults who get sunburned on the weekend has remained the same as the previous survey, at 17 per cent, approximately 2.7 million adults. Australia has not had federal funding for a skin cancer prevention campaign since 2007, and the statistics suggest adults are becoming complacent about UV exposure.

Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, although considerable sun damage can be from childhood exposure, it is never too late to protect skin from further damage and doing so does reduce rates of future cancers. To gain full protection from sunscreen, the cream needs to be re-applied every 2 hours in the sun when the UV index goes above 3. For the face it is recommended using half a teaspoon or a full teaspoon for face, neck and ears.

The CHOICE website has available their recent review of a range of SPF 30 and 50 face sunscreens and moisturisers. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to achieve the SPF rating given, the review was particularly rating the products on texture and consistency, smell, feel, ease of application, how moisturising it felt and their overall impression. The information may be helpful when selecting a sunscreen and in encouraging appropriate use for good sun protection.

The Sun Protection Survey also showed that less than half of Australians use hats to protect themselves from the sun, the CEO of Cancer Council Australia suggests that many Australians slop on some sunscreen, expecting to be protected from sunburn all day. Sunscreen alone is one line of defence - hat, clothing, sunglasses and shade are also key for skin protection.


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