What are Australia's Sunscreen Regulations?

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A Tube of Promotional SunscreenWhat makes the regulation and packaging of sunscreen different from other products in Australia? Well, here in Australia, the sale of all therapeutic goods is regulated by one body, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Association). Therefore, any therapeutic product, such as therapeutic sunscreen, must be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), administered by the TGA, before retailers can sell it in this country (unless granted an exemption).

Why are these restrictions so important?

Restrictions regarding the sale of sunscreen in Australia are vital to maintaining the high quality of products for sale on the market and ensuring that you, as a consumer, are not sold an inferior product that does not provide the UV protection it advertises. Australia is sunny, and Aussies love heading out to the beach or relaxing by the pool. Because we enjoy such an active outdoor lifestyle, our sunscreens must be labelled correctly and manufactured to the highest standards. So that we can continue to enjoy these activities without worrying about whether our sunscreen is working the way we think it will!

Are things like lip balms with SPF considered sunscreens?

Yes, so within the TGA's definition of therapeutic sunscreen, there are two subcategories; primary and secondary sunscreen.

  • Primary sunscreen refers to a product with the main purpose of protecting the skin from UV radiation (standard sunscreens).
  • Secondary sunscreen refers to a product that has another primary feature, like a moisturiser, lip balm, or foundation that also provides some protection from UVR.

So a lip balm can also be considered a sunscreen if it offers UVR protective qualities. The same goes for foundation with sunscreen properties, moisturisers, etc.

What are the key elements of the Australian Sunscreen Standard?

The Australian Sunscreen Standard states that the maximum protection level a sunscreen product label can claim is SPF50+. Therefore, if a product lists a higher SPF coverage, it breaches this standard. Similarly, the maximum level of water resistance for any SPF30+ sunscreen is only claimable for four hours. Manufacturers cannot use terms like 'sunblock' or 'waterproof' as they are considered misleading (implying that the sun is "blocked" or that water cannot remove sunscreen from the skin).

Cubic Promote only stocks sunscreen that meets all Australian Sunscreen Standards. It is important to us as a company that we only sell products that comply with Australian standards, so you can purchase promotional sunscreen from us with confidence.

Back of Sunscreen TubeHow to tell if your sunscreen meets Australian standards?

There are a few key things to note about sunscreen products that meet Australian standards. Most will consistently feature the following:

  • Therapeutic sunscreen will be listed with the ARTG.
  • Sunscreen that meets Australian standards will only claim SPF coverage up to 50+.
  • The label lists a clear use-by or expiry date (after which the effectiveness of the product may be reduced).
  • Clear instructions for use, including reapplication, are included on the label as well.
  • Packaging will not list outrageous or "too good to be true" claims, but realistic product capabilities.
  • Packaging will include where the product is made ("Made in Australia", for example).

Important things to consider regarding promotional sunscreen

There is no such thing as a sunscreen that provides absolute protection against UV radiation. However, the everyday use of sunscreen on the skin (and its reapplication throughout the day) is encouraged as part of a good sun protection routine, which also features things like wearing hats and protective clothing. Please keep this in mind when purchasing suncreen.

If you'd like to know more, ask us!

Here at Cubic Promote, our team is well-versed in promotional products like sunscreen products we sell, so if you have any questions about them, we'll be able to answer. Common questions we receive include queries about sunscreen ingredients (yes, we sell Oxybenzone-free/Octinoxate-free products!), zinc-based sunscreens (yes, we have those too), and whether we sell Australian-made sunscreens (yes, we do!). We can also assist you in learning more about rules and regulations regarding sunscreen by directing you to relevant government documents upon request.

Author Profile: Yoshe

Yoshe is a Cubic Promote’s content manager and she has worked with promotional products for almost a decade. Yoshe is full of great product ideas, she knows what's new on the market and how to use promotional products to boost your brand visibility. Visit her on LinkedIn.

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