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Top six things to know about sunscreen.

  1. No sunscreen provides 100% protection.
    Use sunscreen (PDF 4.5MB) with other sun protection measures such as limiting time in the sun, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and a hat, and wearing sunglasses.
  2. Sunscreen is safe to use.
    Health Canada regulates the safety, effectiveness, and quality of sunscreen in Canada. No published studies have shown that sunscreen is toxic to humans or hazardous to human health. Sunscreen may be used on babies over six months; avoid the mouth and eye areas.
  3. Apply sunscreen on skin that is not covered by clothes or a hat.
    Don’t forget your face, neck, ears, and the back of your hands and feet. Use sunscreen lip balm to protect your lips.
  4. Read the label and try it out. 
    Choose a sunscreen that is labelled SPF 30 or higher, ‘broad spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) and ‘water resistant’. Use a sunscreen that you like and find easy to use.
  5. Remember to use sunscreen.
    Use sunscreen when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest, such as when the UV Index is 3 or higher, usually from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Apply sunscreen regularly before other skin products. Re-apply sunscreen regularly, especially after swimming, or towelling.
  6. Are you wearing enough sunscreen?
    Most adults need 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover their body; 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to cover their face and neck.

Sunscreen Storage

Store sunscreen in a cool & shaded place. Do not leave it in a vehicle for a long period of time. The active ingredients in sunscreen begin to break down in the presence of heat or light.

Spray Sunscreen

Apply spray sunscreen in a well-ventilated room or outdoors (in a wind-protected area). To apply to face and to ensure even application, spray sunscreen in your hand, and then rub on.

Date of creation: February 18, 2013
Last modified on: March 26, 2023





1Marrett LD, Chu MBH, Atkinson J, Nuttall R, Bromfield G, Hershfield L, Rosen CF for Representatives in the National Consensus Process on the Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada. An update to the recommended core content for sun safety messages for public education in Canada: a consensus report. 2016. Manuscript submitted for publication.
2Slevin, T. (2014). Sun, Skin and Health. Collingwood VIC, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.