50SPF… What are you actually paying for?
So, you say “money is tight” and you are looking to save an extra buck whenever possible? Well here is some information that may help you do just that.
About this time last year, the FDA was toying around with idea of limiting the advertised SPF claims on all sunscreens. That magic number was going to be "30+". The reason behind this was that numerous studies indicated that the additional benefit of a higher SPF was negligible at best. I wanted to know the actual difference, so I dug deeper into the issue and the facts may surprise you.
First, SPF is a rating system used to measure the protection against UVB rays not UVA. (A new 4 star FDA rating system to measure UVA protection is in the works. Look for more info on this topic in future ASB Newsletters).
With a 50 SPF sunscreen, you are not getting what you are paying for. It has been determined that a 30 SPF provides 97% sun protection compared to a 50 SPF that provides a whopping 98%! Keep in mind that to achieve a higher SPF requires more chemicals that aren't exactly good for your skin...
The FDA has since reconsidered limiting the 30+ and has raised the maximum advertised number to 50 SPF. The good news is you are now an informed consumer and no longer have to fall victim to marketing hype with misleading and outlandish claims.
The real key to effective sun protection is to apply and reapply sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF every day and not just when you go to the beach! By the way, a 15 SPF is very effective, perfect for daily use and offers 93% protection from the sun. -SB
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