Tips for choosing sunscreen
If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of sunscreens on the market and uncertain about which one to use, you're not alone. A recent survey found many people feel that way. To find out what to look for when shopping for sunscreen, visit this page:
Safeguard your skin and make the smart choice to use sunscreen this summer
Safeguard your skin and makethe smart choice to use sunscreen this summer
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (June 14, 2012) —
With outdoor activities in full swing this summer, it’s important to remember to protect your skin. However, with all the sunscreen products on the market, it can be hard to know how to pick the right one. A new survey also shows that the public is confused about how to apply sunscreen correctly. Tips from aboard-certified dermatologist can help clear up the confusion.
“Consumers can be overwhelmed by the large number of sunscreen products available and because of that they avoid using sunscreen all together, resulting in sunburn and overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation,” said board-certified dermatologist Henry W. Lim, MD, FAAD. “Dermatologists can provide the public with theinformation they need to make smart choices when it comes to sun protection, which can help reduce their risk for skin cancer, and keep their skin looking healthy and youthful.”
When looking for a sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) recommends that consumers:
• Read the label on sunscreen products. Use only sunscreen that offers:
o Broad-spectrum coverage(label may say “broad spectrum,” “protects against UVA/UVB” or “UVA/UVB protection”).
o SPF 30 or higher.
o Water resistance.
Dermatologists also recommend that consumers:
• Re-apply the sunscreen every two hours when outdoors.
• Seek shade whenever your shadow appears to be shorter than you are.
• Wear protective clothing, which includes long sleeves, pants, wide-brimmed hat, andsunglasses.
A new online survey of adults nationwide by the Academy found that confusion still exists about SPF numbers and how to use sunscreens correctly.
• Fewer than one in five respondents (18 percent) knew that a sunscreen with SPF 30 does not provide twice the protection as an SPF 15.
• Among respondents who ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Always’ wear sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun, only28 percent reapplied sunscreen at least every two hours.
Dr. Lim emphasized that UV protection does not increase proportionately with a designated SPF number. For example, an SPF 30 screens 97 percent of UV rays, while an SPF 15 screens 93 percent of UV rays and an SPF 2 screens out 50 percent of UV rays. However, not applying enough sunscreen or not covering all exposed areas may result in alower SPF than the product contains.
“For adequate protection, sunscreens are best applied 15 minutes prior to going outside, and re-applied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating,” said Dr. Lim. “Research demonstrates that most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen, which is one ounce for the entire body, or enough to fill a shot glass.The relationship between SPF and amount applied is not a linear one. For example, if only half the proper amount of SPF 15 is applied, the actual in-use SPF would be approximately 5, which is then inadequate protection. ”
To make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about choosing sunscreens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new sunscreen rules will take effectin December. Manufacturers will be required to follow specific testing and labeling rules. Specifically, labels will detail whether the sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVB and UVA rays); reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging in addition to helping prevent sunburn, or just protects against sunburn alone; and is water-resistant up to 40 or 80 minutes....