Is your sunscreen as good as its package claims?

A survey conducted by Consumer Reports showed that the most important contributing factor in deciding which sunscreen to buy was its SPF. After testing the SPF claims, however, only 2 out of the 20 tested actually protected at the advertised level. Most of the products tested between 4%-40% below the SPF they claimed.

Here are 5 surprising discoveries from the study that dispel common myths:

  1. Advertised SPF levels are not accurate in the majority of cases
  2. Spray sunscreens do not provide the most effective coverage
  3. “Natural” sunscreens are not safer than other sunscreens
  4. Mineral based sunscreens are not more effective than other sunscreens
  5. In most cases there is no significant difference between sunscreens for adults and children

Remember that SPF refers only to UVB rays, not UVA, but both types can cause skin cancer. A sunscreen rated as “broad-spectrum” should protect against both kinds of rays. Additionally, a sunscreen that has an SPF that is twice as high as another does not mean it provides twice the protection. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 50 provides 98% protection from UVB rays while one with SPF 30 provides 97%!

To read the full report click here.

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