A warning has been issued over a popular Australian brand of facial sunscreen that could lead to irritation, “coughing and sneezing”.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has advised the instructions printed on the packaging of the Bondi Sands Everyday Protection Face SPF 50+ Sunscreen Mist are incorrect.
“The directions for use on the sunscreen are not clear, particularly about use on the face,” the TGA said in a statement published on Monday.
“If you spray the sunscreen mist directly onto your face this may cause accidental inhalation, local irritation of nose, mouth, and throat as well as coughing and sneezing.”
Consumers in possession of the sunscreen have been advised to spray the product into their hands before application rather than directly on the face.
Concerns around incorrect use of the product involve accidental inhalation of the aerosol sunscreen, which should never be sprayed onto the face.
The TGA has advised users to shake the can well before use and to only apply it in well ventilated areas free from windy conditions.
When spraying on the body, consumers should hold the can at a distance of 10-15cm and reapply the product every two hours to ensure adequate sun protection or more often when swimming, exercising or towel drying.
Risks associated with inhaling aerosol sunscreens arise due to dangers posed by some of its ingredients, which can cause internal irritation.
Research has also suggested that aerosol sunscreens are not as effective for sun protection due to difficulties with even application, while the propellant in aerosol products dilutes the amount of sunscreen dispensed, impacting coverage.
In late 2020, the Cancer Council issued a statement advising against the use of aerosol sunscreens despite their growing popularity.
“Our advice in the first instance is to avoid using aerosol sunscreen products; however, if it is your preference, then exercise great caution,” SunSmart head Heather Walker said.
“Even literally saturating your body with the product may not provide the level of protection you expect.
“Regardless of sunscreen type, sunscreen should always be considered the last line of defence after protective clothing, a broadbrim hat, wraparound sunglasses and shade.”