We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen, but which SPF is best? A walk through the sunscreen aisle reveals dozens of options, with varying SPFs. The highest SPF protect is 100, but does that make it the best? It’s just one of the many questions consumers have when it comes to the dizzying array of sunscreens. Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more.
WHAT DOES SPF MEASURE?
SPF, or sun protection factor, measures the product’s ability to block the sun’s UVB rays. Those rays can turn your skin into a fiery-red hide. It does not take into account UVA rays, which can damage skin and lead to certain kinds of cancer.
DOES SPF 100 OFFER THE BEST PROTECTION?
People assume the higher the SPF, the better the protection. Sunscreen with SPF 50 offers twice the protection of SPF 25, right? Wrong. Sunscreen with SPF 15 blocks 94 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent, SPF 50 blocks 98 percent and SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. Yes, SPF 100 offers the highest protection, but it’s not significantly more than its double-digit competitors. Plus, doctors fear consumers who buy products with SPF 100 apply it less, making it less effective than other options. No matter what the SPF, you should apply sunscreen every two hours.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR?
Rather than focusing on the SPF, look for a broad spectrum sunscreen. These will protect against both UVA and UVB rays, offering full protection.
Whether it is a day at the pool, or an afternoon walk in the park, make sure that you are arming yourself with sun protection so that you can enjoy many sunny days ahead.