Understanding common myths and misinformation about sun safety might reduce your risk of sun damage.
False. You can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day. UV radiation can get through light cloud cover, so unprotected skin can still be damaged.

False. You can still get sunburnt on a cold day. UV radiation can still be high on a cool day when infrared radiation, which causes the heat from the sun, is low.

You can also get sunburnt on ski fields, because snow reflects more UV radiation than any other ground surface.

Learn more about UV radiation.

False. Water only reflects about 5% to 10% of UV radiation. The reason you're more likely to get burnt at the beach is because you're: 


  • exposed to direct UV radiation
  • probably not well covered up by clothes
  • probably not close to shade like buildings or trees.


False. Your windburn is actually sunburn. The wind may make you feel cooler, but UV radiation can still be high, even on a windy day.

If there was such a thing as windburn you’d get windburnt if you were out in the dark on a windy night.

False. Sunburn at any age should be avoided. Sunburn is painful and it may increase your risk of skin cancer later in life.

Be SunSmart yourself and encourage others in your care to protect their skin and eyes from September to April.

Learn more about sunburn.

Sunburn is painful and potentially deadly. Avoid getting sunburnt – Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

Learn more about skin cancer.

False. No sunscreen filters out all UV radiation. You need to limit your time in the sun no matter what sunscreen you’re using.

Learn more about sunscreen.

False. If you are going to be in the water, a rash shirt and sunscreen is a good form of protection. A full body wetsuit gives even better protection. A wet t-shirt may offer only half the protection it does when it is dry.
False. Whether you use a spray or a lotion it is important to spread them uniformly over the skin after application. This is easier to do with lotions than with sprays. If you use a spray – you need to do more than a quick ‘squirt’. You need to rub it in.
False. It’s best to follow the recommended storage instructions on your sunscreen packaging. Sunscreen can get hot in your car’s glove box and in your sports bag. This means it might not work as well as it should.

Where else can I find answers to my questions?

The Cancer Council Australia's I-heard website was created to dispel stories, rumours and claims about cancer.

Your question may have already been asked or you can ask any cancer-related question. Their experts will review your query.