Rosacea Support Group

How Much Sunscreen Should I Use?

Another fabulous data visualisation from Information is Beautiful. This time David McCandless tackles the thorny issue of How Much Suncreen Should I Wear ?

The Sunscreen Smokescreen

July 11, 2011

It started with a question. It always does. This time, the question was simple: How much sunscreen should I wear?

I’m a pale geek who burns. I wanted to know the optimal. A simple question with a simple answer, right?


This simple question took me on a massive journey through the data, information myths and misinformation that surround our perception of sunscreen. I’m calling it the Sunscreen Smokescreen.

One of the important messages, especially for those living in high Melanoma countries like Australia, is that most people do not apply enough sunscreen – leading to users experiencing far less protection than they probably expect.

According to this graphic, you should 2 index fingers worth of sunscreen just for the face.

Do You Use Enough?

Do you use that much if you are heading out into the full sun?

I like to think I lather up pretty well before heading out, but who really does use enough I wonder.

Also, personally I would never even contemplate a sunscreen as low as SP15. This is way too low in my books. SPF30+ all the way for me, especially living in a sunny city.

What Sunscreen do I use?

Now is as a good time as any to review what sunscreens I use.

I primarily use 3 sunscreens. Sounds a bit excessive now that I think about it, but each one serves a different purpose.

Feel free to let us know what you currently like in the comments below.

Tinted ZincO Cream

My daily sunscreen is Linda Sy’s Tinted ZincO Cream. It is now sold by RosaceaCare as Tinted ZincO Cream.

It has a nice tint to cover redness and is very mild.

Hamilton Sensitive

The ZincO Cream isn’t sweat proof and isn’t really suitable for exercising. For when I will be outside for an extended period, especially if I’m going to be exercising I used Hamilton Sensitive for Hyper-Sensitive Skin. It isn’t as sheer as Untinted ZincO Cream, so you can see it, but it offers excellent protection.

Not sure how easily you can get this outside Australia.

Sunscreen For Body

For arms and legs and back of the neck etc. I use one of the Cancer Council Everyday Suncreens. It is cheap and easy to spread over large areas and they normally rub in quite well. I find that I can pretty well tolerate chemical sunscreens on my body.

These sorts of sunscreens are easily available in Australia.

I would love to try the Vanicream Range if it was more easily available in Australia.

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