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July 16, 2013

How to Choose Suncreams

So you think you are doing the right thing and diligently putting sunscreen on everyday? Research shows that not all suncreams are the same! Let's look at some basics about suncreams. 

What is an SPF? 

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) displayed on the sunscreen label ranges from 2 to as high as 50 and refers to the product's ability to screen or block out the sun's harmful rays. For example, if you use a sunscreen with an SPF 15, you can be in the sun 15 times longer that you can without sunscreen before burning. Consumers need to be aware that SPF protection does not increase proportionally with an increased SPF number. While an SPF of 2 will absorb 50% of ultraviolet radiation, an SPF of 15 absorbs 93% and an SPF of 34 absorbs 97%.

How do you select a sunscreen? 

  • Dermatologists strongly recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater year-round for all skin types. If you are fair-skinned and sunburn easily, you may want to select a sunscreen with a higher SPF to provide additional protection. 

  • Choose a "broad-spectrum" sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA radiation. PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, was one of the original ultraviolet B (UVB) protecting ingredients in sunscreens. 

Tips

If you are exercising or in the pool, be sure to reapply your suncream regularly.

See these sites for more information: 

Skin Care 101: Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

Sunscreen Ratings: The Best and Worst for Beach Season 2013

 

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