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Understanding sunscreen and sun safety

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What is the proper amount of sunscreen to use?

How much sunscreen do I need to use?

You should always be generous when applying sunscreen – its better to use a little more, than not enough!

We recommend you use approximately a dollop the size of a 20c coin per limb eg:

  • Each leg
  • Each arm
  • The front of your body
  • Back of your body
  • Your face and neck, including your ears.


Do I need to apply different amounts depending on which kind of sunscreen I use?

The above recommendation is a good guide for sun screen cream, sun lotion and gel products.

When using spray sun screens, you need to take a bit more care to ensure you are using enough product. Read the label for your chosen product, and refer to the below guide for more do’s and don’ts when using spray sunscreen products.

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What are the often-missed spots?

What are the often-missed spots when applying sunscreen?

These are the spots that are most often missed when applying sunscreen:

  • Under your eyes
  • Ears
  • Lips
  • Shoulders
  • Behind the knees
  • Tops of the feet

Be sure to pay attention to them, as cumulative damage if you miss these spots too often can lead to skin cancer.


Do I need special sunscreen products for different body parts?

Correct application of your preferred sunscreen product should be sufficient if applied properly, and reapplied as required. However, some people prefer to use a specialty product for sensitive areas, such as lips. Check out our product page for more information.

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When should I apply sunscreen?

When should I apply sunscreen?

When is the correct time to apply sunscreen?

You should apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure. This gives the product adequate time to absorb properly, so it will work more effectively and be less likely to wear off, either from your clothing, during travel, or from physical activity.


How often should I reapply my sunscreen?

You should reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you go swimming, or engage in physical activity where your sunscreen may sweat off, you should towel dry and reapply immediately.

Be sure to check out the rest of our sunscreen application recommendations to ensure you’re applying correctly.

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Does higher SPF sunscreen contain more chemicals?

Does higher SPF sunscreen contain more chemicals?

Higher SPF sunscreen does not contain more chemicals than sun lotions with lower SPF.

Advances in sunscreen research and formulation has allowed Banana Boat to develop sunscreen products with equal or lower levels of active ingredients than Banana Boat formulated in previous years, so a higher SPF level does not equate to more chemicals.


What are the active ingredients?

Sunscreen ingredients can vary slightly across products, so it is important to check the label if you have any particular concerns such as allergies or sensitivities.

Should I use high SPF if I have sensitive skin?

You should always use the highest SPF possible to give you the best protection.

Banana Boat sensitive sunscreen range has been specially designed for sensitive skin to be gentle, yet effective, with a high SPF.

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Does layering sunscreen increase SPF protection?

Does layering sunscreen increase SPF protection?

Layering two SPF does not add up to a higher level of protection. Using an SPF8 and SPF15 together won’t allow you to remain in the sun 23 times longer than without protection. It’s not additive, and you should always aim for a higher SPF rather than a lower one to be sun safe.

The table below shows the level of protection you can expect from different SPF products, but please remember these are a general guide only and protection can vary based on application, outdoor conditions and physical activity. You need to determine how long you’ll be in the sun, along with your skin type, and choose the appropriate SPF level for you.


What does SPF mean?

SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and is a measure of how well a sun screen product protects the skin from UV radiation compared to unprotected skin. Broad spectrum sunscreens, like Banana Boat, protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.

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Will sunscreen block Vitamin D?

Will sunscreen block Vitamin D?

While it is true that sunscreen will block some of the Vitamin D provided by the sun, the benefits of using sunscreen far outweigh the benefits of receiving Vitamin D in this manner.


How can I get enough Vitamin D and stay sun safe?

According to the Cancer Council, regular use of sunscreen when the UV Index is 3 or above during normal daily activity should not stop you getting enough Vitamin D.

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Can I get sunburn on a cloudy day?

Can I get sunburn on a cloudy day?

You can suffer sun damage even on a cloudy day. Believe it or not, up to 80 per cent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate through clouds and fog, so even though you might feel more protected because you can’t feel the heat of the sun (or see your shadow!) you still need to practice sun safety and wear sun screen.


Can I use a lower SPF on cloudy days?

You should still use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on cloudy days. In fact, some research has shown that particular types of clouds can increase the focus of UV light, raising the risk factor.

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Can I use sunscreen on babies under 6 months?

Can I use sunscreen on babies under 6 months?

Parents should consult a doctor before using sunscreen with babies under six months old.

Due to their sensitive skin, they may not be capable of tolerating the ingredients in sunscreen.


How else can I protect my baby from the sun?

Young babies should avoid sun exposure where possible. Ensure they are covered up in appropriate clothing when outdoors, and try to keep them shaded. You can also see our tips on how to protect your baby outside for more information.

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Understanding sunscreen and sun safety

More than half of Australian parents have a low understanding about sunscreen and sun safety. To get a better understanding – Watch Now!

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