All you Need to Know About Sunscreen

An SPF15 blocks 95% of UVB rays and provides all the protection you need. Although we assume doubling the SPF doubles the protection, an SPF30 only increases protection by 2%, but requires twice the concentration of active sunscreen ingredients. Doubling the SPF from 50 to 100 only increases protection by 1%, but requires seven times the amount of active sunscreen ingredients.

The FDA has determined that any increase in protection above an SPF50 is insignificant and has proposed regulations that limit the maximum claim to an SPF50+. Using a sunscreen higher than SPF15 provides little added protection and exposes you to unnecessary risk.

Look for mineral (inorganic) sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens physically reflect UV radiation. Mineral sunscreens do not react chemically to UV radiation, so they are more stable. Inorganic sunscreens reduce the risk of any unwanted chemical reaction. Look for the mineral sunscreen ingredients Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

Organic sunscreens chemically absorb UV radiation. That chemical reaction reduces their effectiveness over time and creates a variety of other unwanted chemical reactions. Avoid these sunscreen ingredients. Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Padimate O, Octinoxate and Methoxycinnamate

Look for a sunscreen labeled Broad Spectrum with an SPF15. An SPF15 blocks 95% of UVB rays and although we assume doubling the SPF doubles the protection, an SPF30 only increases protection by 2%, but requires twice the concentration of sunscreen chemicals. Doubling the SPF from 50 to 100 only increases protection by 1%.

The FDA has determined that any increase in protection above an SPF50 is insignificant and has proposed regulations that limit the maximum claim to an SPF50+. Using a sunscreen higher than SPF15 provides little added protection and exposes you to unnecessary risk.

Don’t forget that SPF only indicates protection from UVB (burning rays) and does not indicate any protection form UVA (aging rays). Even though UVA exposure does not cause sunburn, it does contribute to chronic skin damage and skin cancer. Always use a sunscreen labeled Broad Spectrum to insure both UVA and UVB protection.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming.

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