Cancer Council Australia

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About sunscreen



Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the age of 70.

Sunscreen use is one of five important ways of reducing the risk of skin cancer. The most comprehensive study of cancer prevention in Australia estimated that, in 2010, more than 1700 cases of melanoma and 14,190 squamous cell carcinomas (a common non-melanoma skin cancer) were prevented by long-term sunscreen use. 

Many people apply sunscreen every day, often over large areas of their body. If more people applied sunscreen, and applied it correctly, its benefits would increase. So it is vital that all sunscreens are safe, effective and good quality.

Sunscreen needs to be applied as per its instructions and should not be used as the only line of defence against UV. When the UV Index is above 3, be sure to protect yourself in five ways by slipping on sun protective clothing, slopping on SPF30+ or higher sunscreen, slapping on a broad brim hat, seeking shade when possible and sliding on sunglasses.


Explore the links below to find answers to common questions relating to sunscreen:


This page was last updated on: Wednesday, July 5, 2017