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Banana Boat sunscreen users turn to social media to share concerns

After a 19-year-old woman, Taryn Hawken, claimed to suffer from serious burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen, several other consumers have taken to social media to express their concerns.

The Melbourne local was at an outdoor event when she received severe burns to her body despite reportedly applying sunscreen 45 minutes before she went outside as well as each hour thereafter.

Her skin became painful and began to blister, and by the following day, Hawken, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, had an MS attack, causing her to experience double vision and problems with her right leg.

Hawken is also a mother of an 11-month-old baby and says she is having difficulty caring for him because of the pain.

More: Need-to-know tips for child sun safety this summer

“I’m emotionally scarred and physically scarred. I’m in so much pain that I can barely move,” she said.

Another incident of severe burning occurred in January, when Melissa McCaull’s son was burnt during a trip to the beach on Australia Day. He received severe burns and blistering despite using Banana Boat sunscreen and wearing a hat, sunglasses and a rashie.

“I want to know exactly why this is happening,” McCaull told Fairfax. “Why it’s causing second-degree burns. It’s not protecting us.”

Cases like McCaull’s and Hawken’s are causing a growing number of people to turn to the Banana Boat Facebook page to share their own concerns and experiences. The Banana Boat Facebook page has been inundated with complaints from unhappy and very burnt consumers.

Emilia Sferrazza, from Melbourne, said she had been burnt on two separate occasions while using Banana Boat sunscreen.

“Unlike when I have used other products, the Banana Boat did not stop the burning prickling sensation of the sun when applied, but almost felt like it was burning more, which seemed odd,” she said.

Stella Russell told of how her 1-year-old daughter was left with blisters on her cheeks.

“Her left cheek is now covered with a massive red scab due to ‘one’ blister rupturing,” she said.

More: 7 body lotions with SPF for daily sun protection

Banana Boat have since posted a response on their Facebook page, ensuring consumers that they take complaints like these seriously. They have reported testing the products in question but haven’t found any quality issues.

“All Banana Boat products are uniquely formulated and rigorously tested to meet the claimed SPF as required by the Australian sunscreen standard and in compliance with the TGA regulations,” they commented.

Banana Boat suggests the following sun safety tips combined with sunscreen protection:

1. Make sure your sunscreen hasn’t expired: Sunscreen has an expiry date, and if it is used past that recommended date, then it can reduce the effectiveness of protection.

2. Safety clothing: Wearing sunscreen isn’t enough to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun, says Banana Boat, and that’s where protective clothing comes in.

3. Follow the application suggestions: Applying sunscreen while we’re already out in the sun can leave us burnt because we’ve applied protection too late. Following the suggested application recommendations is crucial to staying burn free.

For anyone else who has experienced burns while using Banana Boat sunscreen, you can contact them directly at either their contact page or via 1800 761 186.

Have you been burnt while using Banana Boat products? Let us know.

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