SPF 50+ not enough to protect you from the harsh Aussie sun

Terry White Chemist pharmacist Erin Jessen with the new 50+ sunscreen, Thursday, January 03, 2013. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle
Terry White Chemist pharmacist Erin Jessen with the new 50+ sunscreen, Thursday, January 03, 2013. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle Kevin Farmer

TOOWOOMBA pharmacist Erin Jessen is backing a Cancer Council Queensland warning advising residents not to read too much into new SPF50+ sunscreen.

Cancer Council Queensland is warning consumers to stay vigilant about their sun protection after the Therapeutic Goods Administration announced the increase of sun protection factor in sunscreens from SPF30+ to SPF50+.

New products are expected to fill supermarket and pharmacy shelves by mid-January but some lines have been in stock at the Clifford Gardens Terry White Chemist where Miss Jessen works since last month.

The SPF50+ sunscreen offers marginally better UVB radiation protection compared with SPF30+, filtering out 98% of damaging rays compared to the 96.7 % offered by SPF30+.

"You still need to apply it every two hours," Miss Jessen said.

She said some SPF30+ products already offered the SPF50+ level of protection but had only recently been allowed to advertise the higher rating.

"Everyone still needs to make sure they slip, slop slap."

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said it was important people didn't misinterpret the benefits of using SPF50+ sunscreen.

"It's important to know that SPF50+ is not a suit of armour, despite being a bigger number on the bottle," she said.

"We also need to remember that sunscreen in isolation is not sufficient protection.

"Queenslanders should slip on protective clothing, slop on minimum SPF30+ broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on wrap-around sunnies to reduce their skin cancer risk."

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Topics:  cancer council health sun protection sunscreen

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