The "slip, slop, slap" message is entrenched at the pool and the beach, but dermatologists say Canberrans are neglecting the same sun safety advice around the house.
A Cancer Council survey shows half of all sunburn among adults happened while they were doing chores around the house or leisure activities such as barbecues, reading or walking the dog.
But the same survey found territorians were the least likely of any state or territory residents to attempt a suntan, with just 8 per cent of Canberrans declaring to have done so.
The Cancer Council's National Sun Survey found 29 per cent of sunburn came from beach and pool activities, while 21 per cent came from sport or other active recreation such as running and cycling.
Researchers surveyed 6349 Australians aged between 18 and 69 over the summer of 2013 and 2014 to discover changing trends in Australians' sun protection behaviours.
Australasian College of Dermatologists president-elect and Turner practitioner Dr Andrew Miller said people may have linked the sun safety message to certain activities, rather than to outdoor skin exposure in general.
"We've tended to tie the message, I must say, to the beach view," he said.
"If you look at the advertisements in the past, there's been sand in there somewhere."
A new campaign from the Cancer Council, launched at the start of National Skin Cancer Action Week, is to tie sun protection to the forecast UV index on any given day, rather than the activities they're planning to join.
A UV index of three or higher means skin will burn quickly if directly exposed outside. Canberra and surrounding areas have an average summer UV index of 12 to 13, pushing the region into the "extreme" category.
Dr Miller said a solution for avoiding sunburn was to pay the same amount of attention to the UV index as is paid to the weather forecast.
"When you're looking at the weather and asking, 'Is it raining, is it going to be hot, what do I need to wear today', also think, 'What is the UV index predicted to be today, do I need to wear long sleeves or put on sunscreen?' "
"It's with the weather forecast so it's not difficult to miss."