SUN PROTECTION PLAIN TALK
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. How much sunscreen should you apply?
To obtain the intended protection, you must follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use and application. Therefore, always apply the amount of sunscreen indicated on the label and re-apply frequently. Remember the easily forgotten areas: tops of ears, behind knees, ankles, feet and eyelids.
2. How often should you apply sunscreen?
Sunscreen should be re-applied frequently to maintain protection, especially after perspiring, swimming or towelling. You should always follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use, application and re-application.
The frequency of re-application should correspond to how and when the product is being used, e.g. when exposed to direct sunlight, on the beach, when swimming, doing sports, etc.
3. Do you use sunscreen to stay in the sun longer?
Sunscreen products should not be used as a means to stay in the sun for prolonged periods. Over-exposure to the sun can be harmful and the use of sunscreen is one part of ‘sun safe’ behaviour. Follow some simple top tips: seek out shade, particularly between 11am and 3pm, wear loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat with a good pair of sunglasses, apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun, and re-apply it frequently, especially when you have been swimming or doing sports; and drink plenty of water, particularly in hot weather.
4. Do you read the information on the label to help you choose the appropriate product and apply it correctly?
Always read the label and choose the most appropriate product based on your skin sensitivity and the conditions under which you will be exposed to the sun.
UV ray intensity will depend on the time of day, your geographical location and the weather.
Choosing a sunscreen that is best suited to your skin and conditions in which you are using it will help protect your skin.
5. Will a high SPF sunscreen stop me getting a tan?
No, you can still get a tan while wearing a high factor SPF. Wearing sunscreen will lower your risk of skin damage.
Using a low SPF to produce a tan can result in skin damage and harmful effects from the sun.
6. How long do you keep sunscreen once opened?
To know when to dispose of your opened sunscreen, check the or sign on the label. Also throw away sunscreen product if it doesn’t smell right, has a strange colour or is not the right consistency.
7. What do the different SPF on-pack numbers mean?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is provided on-pack as a number. It is an indication of the amount of protection sunscreen provides against sunburn, which is mainly caused by UVB rays. The higher the SPF number, the greater the protection. Always look for to ensure that the product also protects against UVA rays.
8. Will I still get enough Vitamin D if I use sunscreen?
Scientific studies* show that when used in a real-life setting, sunscreens do not generally affect Vitamin D levels.
9. What SPF number do you think is enough for you?
The higher the number, the greater the protection. But do not think of the SPF number as a mathematical formula indicating multiples of the amount of time you could stay out in the sun without sunscreen before you burn. Choose an SPF that suits your skin and the way in which you apply sunscreens.
10. Do you know the difference between UVB and UVA radiation?
UVA and UVB are different parts of the sunlight spectrum. Always choose a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. Although UVA rays only play a small role in sunburn, they penetrate deeper into the skin which can cause damage to the cells resulting in premature skin ageing. Skin damage from UVA rays is not immediately visible, unlike the burning signs from UVB rays, but UVA rays can cause lasting damage that may not show up for many years.
Both UVA and UVB rays are attributed to causing several kinds of skin cancers.
11. Does your day cream/make-up with SPF provide enough protection?
Day care products with SPF help to filter out UVB rays during incidental, day-to-day exposure but they are NOT a substitute for sunscreen when deliberately staying out in the sun.
12. Are UV filters included in sunscreens safe for use?
YES. UV filters, like all other ingredients in cosmetic products, are regulated by EU safety legislation to keep us all safe. The EU Cosmetic Products Regulation requires that ingredients used in cosmetic products must be safe and only those UV filters specifically listed for this use may be used. All UV filters used in sunscreen products or day-care cosmetics must undergo a thorough safety assessment by a panel of independent safety experts and meet the highest standards of safety before being approved by the EU Commission.
13. Did you know that sunscreens are covered by strict EU cosmetic laws?
Sunscreens are among the most studied and tested cosmetics products and are covered by strict EU laws governing cosmetics.
All cosmetic and personal care products available in the EU, including sunscreens, have to comply with very rigorous EU legislation and every product is covered by robust safety laws that require them to be assessed for safety. The EU Cosmetic Products Regulation is one of the most stringent and respected regulatory frameworks, and is highly protective of consumers’ safety. The safety assessment performed for each cosmetic product on the market, post-market surveillance and ongoing research, protect consumers from effects that could possibly be caused by any chemicals of concern.