Cream sunscreen and skin bug products best

Marnie Banger

Australians gearing up for summer are being urged to be cautious about relying on aerosol sunscreens and some mosquito repellents.

Cancer Council chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda says her organisation isn't recommending Australians use aerosol sunscreen this summer given so many people use it incorrectly.

She says aerosol sunscreens make it harder for people to apply the amount of protection they need, especially if they're outdoors or in windy conditions.

"People seem to be using them a bit like a mosquito repellent, whereas you're still trying to get exactly the same amount on as you would with a cream sunscreen," she told reporters on Thursday.

Prof Aranda recommended people use five millilitres of sunscreen - that's about a teaspoon - on each arm, leg or other section of the body.

"If you are going to continue to use an aerosol, make sure you get that amount on and rub it in as you would a normal sunscreen," she said.

Applying sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outside, reapplying every two hours, sticking to shade and wearing a hat, protective clothing, and sunglasses were also still the way to go, Prof Aranda said.

Meanwhile, people who rely on insect repellent wristbands and sound-emitting apps to ward off mozzies are also being urged use caution.

Mosquito Researcher at NSW Health Pathology Cameron Webb says the products don't provide adequate protection from mosquito bites, which can pose health risks such as Ross River virus.

He said with conditions expected to be wetter than usual this summer, there would be plenty of mosquitoes about.

"Relying on topical insect repellents is really the way to go," Dr Webb told reporters.