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Sunscreen warning from experts

The UK's Cancer Research centre said sunscreens sold with a water-resistant label before the holiday season had lost their effect if they came into contact with water.

Underlining that no sunscreen is 100 percent safe, the center said that the creams, which are reassuring because they are water resistant, lose 59 percent of their effect in salt water within 40 minutes.

In the UK, sunscreens are twice deemed to have passed the 'water resistant' test if they lose up to 50 per cent protection in contact with water for 20 minutes each. But these tests are conducted with fresh water, and experts say the effect of chlorinated and salt water on the cream is different. Reflection from the water, sweating, temperature, drying with towels also gradually reduces protection, he adds.

In the US and Australia, the protection factor for creams is based on the remaining effect after contact with water.

For these reasons, the Center for Cancer Research tells holidaymakers not to rely solely on sunscreens and makes a few practical recommendations:

-Renew your sunscreen frequently, intermittently.

-Be in the shade.

-Protect your skin with a T-shirt and hat.


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