Is SPF 50+ sunscreen worth it?

Ultra 50 plus sunscreen
Popular and alleged ‘Cancer Council’ approved sunscreens come under scrutiny

Australians are repeatedly urged to ‘slip’ on a sleeved shirt, ‘slop’ on sunscreen and ‘ slap’ on a hat.

Now, being sunburnt is not fun. But is sunscreen all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe not.

Are sunscreens worth the hype?

Here’s a real kicker. Tests, including one reported on by Choice in 2018 revealed that most sunscreens they studied did not meet their marketed SPF claim. However, when manufacturers were contacted, most defended their product and claims. 

Cancer Council: can they be trusted?

A number of sunscreens have been found not to live up to their ratings. But what about the ones with the Cancer Council signature and logo? Surely if a product has the logo of the biggest cancer charity and education resource that the products would be reputable?

Well, not really.

According to news.com.au, the Cancer Council received a furious backlash from parents of toddlers after their children received severe rashes and burns after applying their Pepper Pig sunscreen.

Take this next finding with a grain of salt, but I found it interesting. Cancer Council sunscreen has been reviewed on Product Review, and from what I’ve read, many customers were not happy. A number of customers report severe sunburn, even when they applied the sunscreen as recommended.

So maybe take logos, as well as SPF claims with a grain of salt.

 

So, what is the answer? 

People have told me that zinc sunscreen is better than cream.

People are often warned to avoid the sun in the afternoon completely, if possible. If it’s not possible or you’re at an outdoor event, (like The Red Hot Summer Tour where I was burned to a crisp) here’s what you can do:

Shirt

Don’t where sleeveless or short sleeved t – shirts. Best to have the sleeve go around the elbow, if not below.

Shorts/ pants

For heaven’s sake, women, DON’T wear short shorts or skirts, you’ll regret it, trust me! Your knees will cop it. For about a week, I’ve had to apply Aloe Vera cream and put up with, at times, excruciating pain from sunburn. Make sure shorts/ skirt cover the knee at least. 

Hat

Wide – brimmed, of course. It helps if it has a string around the neck to hold it in place, too. The hats you could buy from the Red Hot Summer Tour were really good.

Shoes

Although they may be uncomfortable in Summer, I think closed is best. Wear shoes that cover the top of your feet, because they can get sunburnt, too. For me, I did get sunburnt on the top of the feet, (I wore sandals at the RHST).

 

Could festival/ event organisers make changes for the future?

There was a bit of shade around the outskirts at the RHST, but not actually in front of the stage where all the performers were. Could this be a possibility for future festivals? I’m not sure. You weren’t allowed to have summer umbrellas in front of the stage, either. I get that would have been due to safety concerns. I just wonder if there could have been a tarp or some sort of covering over where most people were sitting. Or at least have the event in an area with plenty of trees (there was surprisingly very few at North Gardens in Ballarat, Victoria where the RHST was).

 

If you’d like to see some pictures, check out my Instagram @saraharnetty.

 

 

 

 

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