Here are some of the most common questions we get asked. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on our website, contact us .
- Where can I find the latest statistics on skin cancer in Australia?
- Can you recommend a skin cancer clinic?
- When should you use sun protection?
- I got sunburnt a lot as a child, is it too late to protect my skin now?
- Is SPF50 sunscreen better than SPF30 sunscreen?
- It wasn’t hot, so why did I get sunburnt?
- Will I become vitamin D deficient if I use sun protection?
- Can SunSmart provide free sunscreen or sunscreen samples?
- Does SunSmart have any shade grants?
- Can I use the SunSmart logo, ads or songs?
QUESTION 1: Where can I find the latest statistics on skin cancer in Australia?
Cancer Council Australia's Skin Cancer Statistics and Issues website is a peer-reviewed site that provides the most recent information about skin cancer prevention in Australia, including statistics.
QUESTION 2: Can you recommend a skin cancer clinic?
There are many skin cancer clinics available, offering a variety of services and fee arrangements. Doctors (GPs) are more likely to run skin clinics than dermatologists. Cancer Council Victoria does not support a particular skin check service provider or skin cancer clinic. Read our guide to skin clinics for more information.
QUESTION 3: When should you use sun protection?
The free SunSmart app tells you when sun protection is recommended for your location and shows current UV levels. Sun protection times can also be found at the Bureau of Meteorology website and live UV levels are also available from ARPANSA .
When UV levels are low (typically from May to August in Victoria), sun protection is not recommended unless you work outdoors, are near reflective surfaces (like snow), or outside for extended periods. Find out more about UV here.
QUESTION 4: I got sunburnt a lot as a child, is it too late to protect my skin now?
UV damage adds up over your lifetime to increase your risk of skin cancer. The good news is using sun protection will cut this risk at any age, no matter if you are 6 months or 60 years old. Get tips on good sun protection .
QUESTION 5: Is SPF50 sunscreen better than SPF30 sunscreen?
Choose a sunscreen that is labelled SPF30 (or higher), broad-spectrum and water-resistant.
All SPF30 and SPF50 sunscreens offer very similar UVB protection i.e. approx 97% of UVB is blocked if the sunscreen is applied correctly.
According to the TGA regulations and Australian Standards Test protocol a broad-spectrum sunscreen must block more than 90% of UVA rays. An SPF30 sunscreen blocks 96.7% of UV and transmits the remaining 3.3%. An SPF50 sunscreen blocks 98% of UV. To learn more, read our Sunscreen information sheet .
QUESTION 6: It wasn’t hot, so why did I get sunburnt?
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation – not heat – is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage also causes sunburn, tanning, premature ageing and eye damage. UV radiation isn’t like the sun’s light or heat, which we can see and feel. That means we usually don’t notice the damage until it’s too late. The UV level can be as high on a cold or cloudy day as it is when it is a scorching hot day.
Find out when you need to protect yourself against UV damage on the free SunSmart app .
QUESTION 7: Will I become vitamin D deficient if I use sun protection?
Vitamin D levels change naturally with the seasons. In summer, most people make enough vitamin D because UV levels are high and we spend more time outdoors. A few minutes of sun exposure mid-morning or mid-afternoon is enough for most Victorians’ vitamin D levels.
From May to mid-August in Victoria, UV levels are lower and we tend to spend more time indoors, and cover our skin. Spending time outside around midday each day, with some skin uncovered will help with vitamin D at this time of year. People who may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency should talk to their doctor for advice.
Find out more about vitamin D .
QUESTION 8: Can SunSmart provide sunscreen or sunscreen samples?
As SunSmart is a program run by Cancer Council Victoria (a not-for profit, that relies on fundraising and donations) we unfortunately do not have the resources to provide free sunscreen.
The full range of Cancer Council sunscreen as well as other sun protection products are available for sale through the Cancer Council shop. If you wish to purchase sunscreen for your event please visit cancercouncilshop.org.au or call 1300 354 144. If you expect a large number of people at your event, sometimes pump packs of sunscreen at key locations (e.g. entry point, registration table, information stand) may be the most cost-effective option.
For more information and suggestions to make your event as sun safe as possible please visit the Event & festivals page .
QUESTION 9: Does SunSmart have any shade grants?
As SunSmart is a program run by Cancer Council Victoria (a not-for profit, that relies on fundraising and donations) we unfortunately do not have the resources to provide shade grants. SunSmart can provide information about natural and built shade and conducting a shade audit to help you choose the most appropriate shade for your setting.
QUESTION 10: Can I use the SunSmart logo, ads or songs?
If you would like to use any SunSmart materials, including the Slip, Slop, Slap slogan, logo, videos or songs, please contact us with details of your request by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org