Most Australians, in spite of getting repeatedly reminded, still think it is perfectly alright to be on the beach without sunscreen.
The Newspoll survey found that 62 percent believe they are not in danger of getting any skin damage if they expose their skin to the sun, reports The Daily Telegraph.
AdvertisementAccording to the results, the Aussies on an average will wait 15 minutes before lathering on the factor 30.
But the statistics have shocked experts, who warn people will easily burn in less than 15 minutes on a summer's day.
Dr John D'Arcy said too many Australians were still unaware of the fact that unprotected UV exposure would cause skin damage.
"There is no such thing as safe tanning and it is alarming that Australians still don't understand the severity of the Australian sun. The reality is there are too many skin cancer deaths in Australia and many of these deaths are preventable," he said.
"Through sun care education and communicating to Australians that there is no such thing as a safe time spent in the sun without sunscreen, I think as a nation, we can tackle this epidemic and reduce these fatalities," he added.
The survey of 1,209 Aussies, commissioned by Surf Life Saving Australia, also revealed the amount of time people think they can spend in the sun without sunscreen before starting to cause skin damage varies with age.
The younger generation, aged 18-34, will spend 18 minutes in the sun unprotected; compared to only 13 minutes among those aged 35-64. Men on average say 21 minutes is okay, compared to only 10 minutes among women.