Sunscreen/Repellent Protection FAQs

We’ve provided some information on sunscreens, our Sunscreen Combo and its use.

Can’t find the answer to your question?

Feel free to contact us , we are always ready to assist you with any question you may have in mind.

+ What is the Australian Standard for Sunscreens and Insect Repellent?

Sunscreens must meet the requirements set out in the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2604:2012 Sunscreen products – Evaluation and classification.

This standard was developed by Standards Australia, not by the TGA, and can be accessed via the Standards Australia website.

Insect Repellent is regulated by the APVMA who is responsible for regulating agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals (active constituents) and products containing them in Australia and up to and including the point of retail sale.

RID® Insect Repellent Sunscreen Combo SPF50+ is both TGA and APVMA approved to Australian standards.

+ What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?

The three types of UV radiation are classified according to their wavelength. They differ in their biological activity and the extent to which they can penetrate the skin. The shorter the wavelength, the more harmful the UV radiation. However, shorter wavelength UV radiation is less able to penetrate the skin.

Short-wavelength UVC is the most damaging type of UV radiation. However, it is completely filtered by the atmosphere and does not reach the earth’s surface.

Medium-wave length UVB is very biologically active but cannot penetrate beyond the superficial skin layers. It is responsible for delayed tanning and burning; in addition to these short-term effects, it enhances skin ageing and significantly promotes the development of skin cancer. Most solar UVB is filtered by the atmosphere.

The relatively long-wave length UVA accounts for approximately 95 per cent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. It can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and is responsible for the immediate tanning effect. Furthermore, it also contributes to skin ageing and wrinkling.

For a long time, it was thought that UVA could not cause any lasting damage. Recent studies strongly suggest that it may also enhance the development of skin cancers.

+ What does Broad Spectrum mean?

Sunscreens that are labelled as being ‘broad spectrum’ provide protection from UVA radiation from the sun, as well as UVB.  RID® Insect Repellent Sunscreen Combo lotion is a broad spectrum.


+ How long will the repellent in the Sunscreen remain effective for?

The dual purpose lotion has a 7% DEET active constituent meaning that it will repel mosquitoes and flies for up to 2 hours.

Make sure you apply in generous amounts over all of the exposed areas 20 minutes before sun exposure.

It should be reapplied every 2 hours or more often when sweating and should be reapplied after swimming and towelling.

+ What does 'water resistant' mean? Does this change on new sunscreens?

Many sunscreens are designed to be used while swimming, surfing or participating in other water sports.

Water resistance is measured by determining the SPF measurement after the period of water immersion claimed on the product. For example, a product with 2 hours water resistance was tested for its SPF after the product was applied to the skin and immersed in water for 2 hours.

Water resistant products still need to be reapplied regularly due to being worn or rubbed off, e.g. during towelling dry.

The criterion for the ‘water resistant’ claim is essentially unchanged for SPF 50+ products. The maximum water resistant claim period of 4 hours is only allowed for products which have SPFs of 30 or more after immersion in water.

+ What are the common side effects of sunscreens?

Australia has one of the highest incidences of melanoma in the world and as we spend more time under the sun in pools, at the park or beach, lathering up with sunscreen we become highly reliant on sunscreen to absorb those ultraviolet rays and protect us from getting burned.

With the recent attention on Sunscreens with SPF50+, our duty of care is to keep you informed about what the common side effects of sunscreens are. If you’re trying a new sunscreen or concerned about a reaction from a sunscreen product and for those with particularly sensitive skin it’s always recommended to undertake a patch test.

All the synthetic chemicals used in sunscreens have been subjected to extensive testing to determine the risk of side effects. Despite this, problems can occur occasionally with the regular use of sunscreens.

Sunscreens work because they contain chemicals that absorb harmful ultraviolet radiation and keep them from penetrating your skin.

The most common side effect is an irritation. Burning, stinging or redness can occur in certain areas of the skin more than others after application of the sunscreen.  This is particularly on the face around the eyelids, or occasionally on the hairy forearms of men.  This is not an allergy to the sunscreen as the effect only occurs in certain areas, whereas it can be used without any problems on other areas of skin.  When irritancy occurs, it is recommended that another product is used.

A true allergic reaction to a chemical in a sunscreen product can occur but is less common.  In most cases, it is not the synthetic sunscreen chemical itself that is the problem, but more likely one of the other chemicals used in the base such as a perfume or preservative.  Professional assessment and patch testing may be useful in identifying the product in the sunscreen that is causing the allergic reaction.

Some sunscreens can cause acne-like eruptions (pimples, folliculitis) when applied to the skin. Again, this is usually caused by the base ingredients of the sunscreen. If you are prone to this problem it is best to look for gels or lotions or products labelled “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic”.

There are very few reports of chronic or long-term problems related to the regular use of sunscreen. In the case of doubt, avoiding the sun by keeping in the shade and/or wearing protective clothing are the best options.

For further information on Sun Protection and Sunscreens please refer to the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

RID® Sunscreen/Repellent combo lotion adheres to rules and regulations that RID® Australia abide by in the manufacturing and marketing of our products. Please refer to the label for directions for use.

The information above is offered as guidance only and should not to be taken as medical advice.

+ Can I use RID® Sunscreen Combo on my baby under 12 months?

Insect Repellent should not be used on children under 12 months. Consult your doctor before applying sunscreen on children under 12 months as they may not be capable of tolerating the chemicals in sunscreen.  Instead, ensure they stay away from sun exposure.

+ Does SPF50+ mean it will improve my protection?

The short answer is the importance of using both UVB and UVA protection is emphasised for higher protection. RID® Insect Repellent Sunscreen Combo SPF 50+ lotion filters out more than 98% of UV radiation.  The term water resistant means that the sunscreen is maintained for up to 70.6 minutes after 4 hours water immersion which endorses our sunscreen as an SPF50+ Sunscreen with 4 hours water resistance.

Sunscreen protection factor (SPF) relies on broad spectrum, so be aware when buying sunscreens choose products with UVA/UVB radiation from harmful UV rays, which is linked to the vast majority of skin cancers, as well as premature skin ageing and eye damage.  But the answer if often not that simple.

To answer how well sunscreen works is determined by testing for two properties:

  1. the ‘sun protection factor’ (SPF) – which measures the degree of protection against UVB radiation is derived by taking the time it takes you to burn with a sunscreen and dividing it by the time it takes for you to burn without a sunscreen. For example, if you burn in 700minutes with a sunscreen and 10 minutes without a sunscreen, this is 700/100=70.  So the sunscreen will have an SPF of 70.  That said this is theoretical and sunscreens need to be reapplied after 2hrs for safety.  Sunscreen is lost through rubbing, sweating and swimming.
  1. the ‘broad spectrum performance’ – is a measure of the degree of protection from UV radiation. This means that sunscreen with an SPF rating plus protection against UVA/UVB is a higher rated sunscreen against UV radiation.

The bottom line is different individuals can burn at different rates and testing sunscreen involves variable human factors.  Current testing guidelines include human subjects, which can result in some variability.

In addition, it’s noted that most people also do not apply enough sunscreen.  Poor storage conditions will also contribute to sunscreens deteriorating over time, especially if kept in hot places.

RID®’s Sunscreen Combo is registered with the Australian governing authority, the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) under the Australian Regulatory Guidelines for sunscreens (ARGS) Code. Accordingly the SPF 50+ rating on our sunscreen results 70.6 effectiveness of UV radiation after 4 hours of water immersion and complies with the code that states “a claim of SPF50+ is allowed only if the mean SPF test result is 60 or higher”.

Alongside this approval is confirmation that our sunscreen combo offers high levels of protection filtering out 98% of UV radiation and is manufactured by a TGA-approved manufacturing facility and includes TGA approved ingredients, each of which has been tested for safety.

We like to reassure our customers that RID® Sunscreen Combo is tested for quality at our laboratories and is subject to regular and ongoing stability testing to ensure quality and consistency.

With the inclusion of an insect repellent, RID® Insect Repellent Sunscreen Combo has also been approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which is governed by the Agvet Code.  The hours of protection to repels mosquitoes and flies are is 2 hours.  This process involves scientifically evaluating the safety of actives in products such as insect repellent for use.

Whilst we accurately label our products it’s important to note that applying an adequate amount is key.

Consumer advocacy groups report suggest good rule of thumb for lotions is a teaspoon per body part or area; 1 teaspoon for your face, head and neck; 1 for each arm; 1 for each leg; 1 for your chest and abdomen and 1 for your back and back of your neck or 2mg per square centimetre.

Regardless of which kind of sunscreen you use:

  • re-apply every 2 hours and after swimming and sweating.
  • Ensure you use the right amount for full body coverage
  • Apply 13-30 minutes before going in the sun
  • Reapply every two hours
  • Check the expiry date or replace the product every year.
  • Store below 30C and definitely not in hot places.

While SPF 50+ sunscreens provide better broad spectrum performance, this does not mean you have a ‘suit of armour’; people still need to be SunSmart. Sunscreen is recommended as the last line of defence in addition to shade, clothing, hats and sunglasses.

You need to apply SPF 50+ sunscreen just as liberally as SPF 30+. In addition, as with other sunscreens, SPF 50+ may rub off through towelling, swimming, and perspiration. The rule for applying SPF 50+ remains the same: apply liberally and reapply liberally every 2 hours.

No sunscreen provides 100% protection so always use with a broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, covering clothing and shade.