New sunscreen recommendations for Australians and New Zealanders

Experts are now recommending Australians and New Zealanders make applying sunscreen part of their daily routine, alongside brushing their teeth.

The change in policy follows current research, which shows that damage accumulated through everyday sun exposure can be just as harmful as sunburn.

A recent Sunscreen Summit of leading research, public health, and advocacy bodies reviewed a wide body of research into skin cancer prevention, as well as the safety and efficacy of sunscreen use to develop the new recommendations.

Dr Zoe Wainer, Head of Public Health for Bupa welcomed the new policy.

Dr Zoe Wainer, Bupa Australia Head of Public Health
The risks associated with a day at the beach or taking the kids to the park have been long-known. Yet we rarely take the same preventative measures for everyday activities, like driving or hanging out the washing where our face arms and neck are just as exposed to the sun.
Dr Zoe Wainer, Bupa Australia Head of Public Health

Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of skin cancers in the world, and the numbers are rising despite the success of preventative campaigns.

Shannon Pinney moved to Australia from Connecticut in the United States six years ago, and immediately noticed the Australian sun was stronger.

I’ve noticed more freckles and moles on my skin since moving here and have had a few suspicious moles removed. I make sure I get checked regularly now, and I’ve changed my daily skin regime to include SPF in both face and body creams
Shannon Pinney

People living in Australia and New Zealand are now advised to apply sunscreen on every day when the UV index is predicted to reach 3 or above.

Concerns about adverse reactions or vitamin D production were also considered by the Sunscreen Summit, which found that while a very small percentage of people may have a reaction there was consistent and compelling evidence that sunscreen is safe to use.