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18th July 2018

What’s the difference between Australian and European Sunscreens?

At SunSense UK we’re proud of our Australian heritage and believe it makes SunSense stand out as first-class sunscreen. This is due to the increased awareness of sun damage in Australia compared to Europe. In fact, in 2014, UK deaths due to melanomas was higher than Australia’s and was actually the highest in the world.12

The reason for this is twofold, Australian Products are better protectors and Australia as a country are more aware of the risk sun damage causes.

Here are just a few differences between Australian sunscreens and the European counterparts;

Australian Sunscreens

  1. Water resistant Sunscreens must maintain label SPF.3
  2. Maximum SPF is now 50+ which blocks out 98% of the sunburning rays.3
  3. Sunscreens are not permitted to be “labelled once a day”

European Sunscreens

  1. Can lose up to 50% of the label spf after water exposure 4
  2. Less restrictive on using water resitant claims 4
  3. Many brands sell on the basis of being a once a day application even though it’s supposed to be banned. 4

So, when choosing your next sunscreen we’d recommend buying Australian as they have the most stringent guidelines which guarantees you’ll be better protected.


1 Cancer Council Australia. (Accessed March 2011).

2 Vallejo-Torres L, Morris S, Kinge JM at al (2013)Measuring current and future cost of skin cancer in England. Journal of Public Health (e-print ahead of publication

3 AS/NZS 2604:2012, Very high SPF 50+ Broad Spectrum.

4 COLIPA RecommendationNo. 16 – Water resistance labelling. The European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association. 2006.


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