Have you ever gone to the drug store and just stared at all the sunscreens and felt overwhelmed? There are so many different brands, levels of SPF and other variables that make it seem so difficult to find the perfect sun protection to use. The FDA is working hard to regulate the testing and labeling on SPF to make them easier to choose the best sun protection against those harmful rays. So I did a little research and found three helpful tips when purchasing your SPF for this summer.
1. Look at the SPF number– There are so many different levels of SPF and what do they all mean?! Wel,l the ones that you should be looking for to use are either the SPF 30 or SPF 50. The SPF 30 covers 97% of the UV rays and the SPF 50 covers 98% of the UV rays. Anything that has a higher number is just another way the manufacturers can get your dollar bills! Don’t be fooled, just stay with the 30 or the 50 and you will be set!
2. Water-Resistant or Water Proof SPF– When we are using SPF we are usually by the pool or doing some sort of activity that involves water. You want to make sure your SPF stays on your skin even if you are in the water. Water-resistant means that the SPF will last 40 minutes after water exposure and Water Proof will last 80 minutes after water exposure. Depending on what types of activities you are doing, will depend of the type of SPF you need.
3. Look for the word “Broad Spectrum“– This protects your skin from the UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are rays that you get from the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps. This type of ray penetrates deep into the skin. UVB rays are short rays that affect the outer layers of your skin. This is what causes you to get a sunburn. UVB also produces melanin. Broad spectrum is something you really want to have in your SPF.
If you want more information about SPF the American Academy of Dermatology has lots of good helpful information.