Sunscreens contain substances that either absorb or reflect the sun's UV rays and prevent most of it from penetrating the skin and damaging skin cells.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and sunscreens are an important component of a sun protection regime. Many Australians use sunscreen every day of their lives, sometimes over large areas of their body surface. It is important that sunscreens used in Australia are safe and effective and of good quality. For this reason, the TGA regulates some sunscreens as therapeutic goods in Australia.
Only approved ingredients can be included in sunscreens, and each of these ingredients has been assessed for safety.
The TGA requires the efficacy of each sunscreen product to be tested to determine the sun protection factor (SPF), which is printed on the label.