How do sunscreens work?

Sunscreen works by filtering, not blocking, UV radiation with a chemical barrier that absorbs, and/or a physical barrier, that reflects the UV rays away from your skin. No sunscreen product provides 100% protection against UV radiation. Some UV radiation will always reach the skin causing damage to the cells below. This damage will build up over time and can increase your risk of skin cancer. Sunscreens are formulated to reduce the amount of damaging UV radiation reaching your skin.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB radiation?

Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin cancer and skin ageing. UVA is equally intense all day and has long term effects such as photo-ageing and skin cancer. UVA is able to penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB and can penetrate glass and clouds.

UVB is the major cause of sunburn but also contributes to skin cancer. Unlike UVA rays, these rays aren’t always the same strength year-round. They are more intense in the summer months and are able to reflect off water, sand or snow.

All Hamilton sunscreens offer protection from both UVA and UVB radiation.

What does the + sign mean?

Many sunscreens have a higher level of protection than is indicated by the SPF rating and this is indicated by the use of the + sign. A sunscreen that offers very high SPF 50+ protection has actually tested at a level of above 60.

What is the benefit of water resistance?

Even if you’re not going near the water, water resistance is still an important feature, because it determines how well sunscreen will stay on the skin over the time it is being worn in or out of the water. Sunscreens with longer water resistance stay on the skin for longer. It is important to reapply as directed.

What is the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50?

The SPF of a sunscreen is determined by taking the time it takes for skin to turn red with a sunscreen and dividing it by the time taken for skin to turn red without a sunscreen. For example if the skin turns red in 150 minutes with a sunscreen and 5 minutes without a sunscreen, the result is 150/5 = 30 and the sunscreen will have an SPF of 30. If the skin turns red in 250 minutes with a sunscreen and 5 minutes without a sunscreen, the result is 250/5 = 50 and the sunscreen will have an SPF of 50.

If applied correctly and reapplied as recommended, an SPF 50 sunscreen will offer 50 times your skin’s natural protection.

Does the new SPF 50+ mean I can reapply Hamilton less frequently?

The SPF 50+ rating reduces the amount of UV light that reaches the skin for the time that you are protected by sunscreen. It is the cumulative dose of UV over our life-time that contributes to skin cancer risk. Reapplying SPF 50+ sunscreen as directed is essential in ensuring you are adequately protected.

Can I still get sunburnt when using sunscreen?

Yes, you can still get sunburnt when using sunscreen by:
• Using an insufficient amount of sunscreen
• Not using other sun protection measures such as protective clothing and seeking shade where possible
• Not reapplying sunscreen every two hours or when it has been washed or wiped off

Does shade protect me from UV radiation?

Several reports have mentioned that shade provides limited protection. Shade is a useful adjunct but should not be used to replace other forms of sun protection.

Which sunscreen do you recommend for my child?

Hamilton Toddler Sunscreen is recommended for young children. It is free from fragrance, lanolin and colours to care for young delicate skin.


It is recommended to perform a patch test when trying a new product for the first time before applying it on a larger area. Apply a small amount on a small area of skin to determine its suitability. If you experience a reaction to any sunscreen you should wash the affected area and discontinue use.

Which sunscreen do you recommend for outdoor activities?

Our Hamilton Active Family sunscreen is an everyday and sport sunscreen in one. It is 4 hours water resistant, providing lasting protection for all outdoor activities.

Skin Therapy

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin occurs when your skin loses too much water and oil. Dry skin is common and can affect anyone at any age. Dryness of the skin is affected by the amount of water vapour in the surrounding air, in other words, the humidity. For example, our skin tends to feel drier in cold and windy winter, or in air-conditioned rooms. Taking long, hot baths or showers frequently or washing our hands frequently can remove too much moisture from the skin. Soaps and detergents may cause irritation to some of us and others may take medicines that can cause dry skin. Also, as we age our skin gets thinner and produces less natural oil. 

How do I manage/prevent dry skin?

There are two golden rules to follow when it comes to caring for dry and sensitive skin. 1/ Cleanse your body and face with a gentle wash. 2/ Moisturise every day. Moisturising helps lock in moisture to improve the skin’s hydration, which in turn relieves and protects the skin. The more hydrated the skin the stronger the skin barrier is to protect against potential irritants e.g. allergens and bacteria.   

What is Hamilton Skin Therapy range?

Hamilton has been caring for and protecting skin in Australian conditions since 1932. Hamilton Skin Therapy is a dermatologist recommended range that provides a complete solution for dry and sensitive skin. This specialist range is free from soaps, all sulphates, fragrances, propylene glycol and lanolin to minimise skin reactions.

Can Hamilton Skin Therapy be used when pregnant or breast feeding?

The Hamilton Skin Therapy range is suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Are Hamilton products tested on animals?

Key Pharmaceuticals have not conducted any animal testing on Hamilton Sun or Hamilton Skin Therapy products.