It's Not The Sunscreen, It's You
- Parents Only
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
One good thing about this cooler weather? No need for excessive sunscreen use, and no sunburn! The Aussie sun can be pretty merciless, however, despite sunscreen use (that you’d probably think would be sufficient protection, right?) how come you are returning home from the beach and the playground with children all red in the face?
Sorry to break it to you, but it’s probably you, and not the crappy-seeming sunscreen, that’s to blame.
Cancer Council Puts Us To The Test
In short, sunscreen, although it is of prime importance, is suppose to be used as a last line of defence against sun protection- after shade, clothing and a hat. Second of all, merely applying it isn’t enough, and the timing of applications and amount of cream application is everything. Slip, slop, slap, in-case you needed reminding, is key.
Over the Summer, the Cancer Council according to the Daily Telegraph, received over 400 complaints from dissatisfied users of their products, but the not-for-profit found that it is human error, rather than a faulty product, that is really to blame. Cancer Council’s chief executive Sanchia Aranda told The Daily Telegraph: “The biggest problem is people are not using enough and not reapplying frequently enough and you also need to put it on 20 minutes before you go outside so that the water in the formula can evaporate to form the protective barrier on the skin."
Backing up this claim is the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, who recently found that a whopping 85% do not apply enough sunscreen, two-thirds don’t re-apply it every 2 hours, and 1 in 5 never reapply it at all. Professor Aranda told The Daily Telegraph: “The product may say four hours’ water resistant but that is laboratory tested, it doesn’t take into account perspiration and so on. Plus, we are not using nearly enough. A full body application is around 35ml, 5ml for the face, neck and ears, 5ml for each limb (and 5ml each for the torso) front and back. It’s quite a lot and when I saw how much that is I thought I wasn’t using enough either.”
Cancer Council Receives Deluge Of Summertime Complaints
A scathing review of the Cancer Council’s SPF 50+ Peppa Pig children’s sunscreen drew attention over the Summer, mother of 3-month old baby Thomas (pictured) Jessie Swan writing on their Facebook page that their product didn’t work, resulting in a horrible burn/rash on their little one, and a few nights’ stay in hospital. It was later found that Thomas had had an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the sunscreen rather than the product being faulty. Scores of other mums commented in support of Swan, saying similar instances of burnt children had occurred after using the product and then visiting the park or beach, however others said that they have never had any problems with the product and re-apply it regularly. It serves as a reminder that ‘slop’ might not be enough- remember to apply regularly, apply generously, and always try to find shade, wear hats and wear sleeved shirts.
[caption id=“attachment_120222” align=“aligncenter” width=“675”] Source: Jessie Swan/Facebook[/caption]
Sunscreen Dos and Dont’s
Here’s The Daily Telegraph’s Do’s and Dont’s for your handy use.
- Do: Apply 20 minutes before exposure
- Do: Apply 35mL (7 teaspoons)- one for each limb, front torso, back torso, and one for face, neck and ears
- Do: Re-apply after swimming or after 2 hours
- Don’t: Apply to babies under 6 months- keep them out of the sun altogether!
- Don’t: Store in the car
- Don’t: Store in hot conditions- in a cool place under 30 C is a must!