SP-huh? Here’s how to decode the fine print.
Melanoma rates have risen 2 percent each year over the last 10 years. So you want to make sure you’re protecting yourself to the fullest. But store shelves are jam-packed with hundreds of sunscreen options, and trying to decipher all of the numbers and ingredients makes you want to just stay inside all summer.
Don’t throw in the (beach) towel. But understand that manufacturers work hard to garner their fair share of the market. Some of them even resort to downright untruths, so avoid any sunscreen that makes claims like these on its label:
1. It’s waterproof and/or sweatproof. Nonsense. According to the FDA, it’s technically impossible for any sunscreen to be waterproof or sweatproof. A product may be water-resistant, but only if it retains its original sun protection factor (SPF) after at least 40 minutes in water.
2. It’ll last all day. Hogwash. Dermatologists recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours, and more frequently if you’ve been sweating heavily or you’ve been swimming.
For years, sunscreen manufacturers have touted their products’ ability to guard against the sun’s damaging UVB rays. Well, guess what? UVA rays can be even worse. While UVB rays do burn your skin and put you at risk for skin cancer, UVA rays penetrate deeper. Not only can they cause other types of skin cancer, but they also damage collagen, thereby accelerating the aging process. The bottom line: Always buy sunscreen labeled “full-spectrum,” which means it’s been proven to protect against both kinds of rays.
Need Help? 1-800-355-0557 Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00 EST
Need Help? 1-800-355-0557
Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00 EST