SPF 50+ sunscreens now approved in Australia: Our top picks

While the rest of the world has SPF50, SPF75 and even SPF100 sunscreens, the Australian government has only allowed SPF30+ products to be sold, until recently. Last week, the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing and finally gave approval for SPF50+ sunscreens to be made available in Australia.

As Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, the new SPF regulations are much welcomed.

Is SPF50 better than SPF30?

In short; yes. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block more UVB rays, but the reality is no sunscreen can offer 100% protection. Consider this: an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays, whereas an SPF 50 product blocks about 98% of rays, so the difference is minimal!

More importantly however, the Australian government has included a new legal requirement for products claiming to have SPF50+ must have a higher level of UVA protection (of at least 20). This is great news for consumers as UVAs are the ultra-violet rays that cause sun damage, sunspots and wrinkles.

“The new Standard in Australia will cleverly establish the link between SPF claims and broad spectrum protection. The higher UVA protection comes at a time when we are starting to understand the evils of this longer wavelength to our skin health. UVA has been the poor brother of the more obviously damaging, shorter UVB wavelength that causes the sunburn and surface sun damage, said” Greg Goodman, Associate Professor and Founder at the Dermatology Institute of Victoria.

The new sunscreen Standards are already in effect, so you can expect SPF50+ sunscreens to hit stores later this month or early December. But before you rush out to buy the new sunscreens, have a look at what our top choices are.

Who’s making good SPF50+ sunscreens?

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF50+

La Roche-Posay Anthelios has been a long-time favourite for Europeans. The brand prides itself in producing skincare products that are suitable for even the most sensitive skin, and this sunscreen is no exception. The texture is not oily or greasy, and applies well on the skin. It’s a bit heavy to be used under makeup, but definitely your best partner for a long day at the beach.

Banana Boat SPF50+ Sunscreens

Banana Boat’s sunscreens will always be a family favourite. The range is designed for men and women of all ages and they also have sweat-resistant sunscreens which cater to those who have an active lifestyle.

Ella Bache SportsBlock Active and FaceSaver Active 50+

Ella Baché’s SPF 50+ range not only provides balanced UVA/B broad spectrum but offers an exclusive super-fruit complex combined with moisturising and protective skincare benefits. The natural ingredients include pomegranate, cranberry, grape seed, lanolin, macadamia nut oil, squalane from olive oil and vitamin E delivering a valuable second line of defence by providing additional protection and moisturisation. SPF50+ provides the highest protection against UV induced premature ageing.

SPF50+ Sunscreen and UVA & UVB rays explained

When will SPF50+ be available in make up?

The Australian Government haven’t approved SPF50+ in cosmetics just yet, approval is anticipated in early 2013. Stay tuned for an update when it happens.


This article was written by Arthur Chan, editor or HommeStyler, an Australian men’s fashion blog and grooming blog. You can also follow HommeStyler on Facebook and Twitter.

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