Friday FYI: How To Buy Sunscreen Without Getting Scammed|
This Week’s Friday FYI: The Golden Number for SPF
Sunscreen: we all know we should wear it. In the nineties, the Baz Luhrmann “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen” song wisely advised us to wear it. But do you actually wear sunscreen? And if you do, do you know how to buy it without paying useless premiums for extra SPF?
I’m a sun worshiper. I love the sun. Unfortunately, my skin does not share that love. This year, I had a wake-up call when my coworker (who is in her twenties) was diagnosed with skin cancer. I always knew sun exposure can be harmful and damaging to our skin, but I still thought I was somewhat invincible. After my coworker’s unfortunate experience, I decided that I would begin to wear sunscreen regularly.
On my next trip to the drug store, I was overwhelmed by the wide variety of sunscreen choices and confusing labels. There are SPFs that range from 4 to 100+. What? Does SPF 4 really do anything? Do the super high, exorbitantly priced SPFs actually provide extra benefit?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the golden number for SPF is 30 or higher. The FDA recently mandated that the labeling be changed so that the highest level available will be 50+ since after that level the SPF does not provide a significant amount more of protection and is misleading.
Also, the AAD recommend that people buy sun screen that has the words “broad spectrum” on the label. This means that the sunscreen provides a proportionate balance of protection from UVB (the radiation that affects the outer layer of our skin and causes sunburns) and UVA (the radiation that penetrates deeper into the skin).
Show your skin some love, wear sunscreen. Twenty years from now, you and your gorgeous skin will be thankful.