Is sunscreen as powerful as we think it is?

Woman using sunscreen

In a word, yes. If you’ve always been vigilant with your skin and applied sunscreen as a child, then, as an adult, your risk of getting skin cancer is reduced. It really is that simple. However, there will always be people who deny this fact or maybe they’re just sceptical of sunscreen’s benefits. Some of us need comprehensive information before we will change our behaviour.

As Australians living under one of the harshest suns in the world, we need to do everything we can to educate the rest of the planet on our experience at the extreme end of UV in Australia. We have the statistics to back up our knowledge. What’s more, we can actually quantify what we’re saying. Having this conversation with the sceptics is more powerful – and valuable – than even the greatest advertising campaign.

So how much protection does sunscreen actually give us?

In the words of lead researcher, Associate Professor Anne Cust,

“Our study shows that sunscreen use in childhood and adulthood was protective against melanoma in young people 18-40 years old, with their risk reduced by 35 to 40 percent for regular sunscreen users compared to people who rarely used it.”1

This is a very large risk reduction in a significantly sized study.2

We’ve been singing the praises of sunscreen for nearly 40 years now and obviously with good reason. So, a word to the wise…

Slip, slap, slop, slide and seek from childhood onwards! Your good health depends on it.

For more details on how you can stay ‘sunsafe’ all year round, click here.

JAMA Dermatol.
 2018 Sep 1;154(9):1001-1009. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1774.

Sunscreen Use and Melanoma Risk Among Young Australian Adults.

Watts CG1,2,3,4, Drummond M1,2,4, Goumas C2, Schmid H5, Armstrong BK6, Aitken JF7, Jenkins MA8, Giles GG8,9, Hopper JL8, Mann GJ2,5, Cust AE1,2,4.


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