Before you head to the beach, the pool, or spend large amounts of time outside, you may want to know what the difference is between all of the new sunscreen options.
Something strange is happening in the sunscreen aisle. Shelves that had been stocked with bottles claiming an SPF, or a sun protection factor, of 30 now trumpet SPFs of 55, 70, even “110+.” This not-so-subtle escalation often comes with corollary pricing. Higher SPFs frequently cost more, but are they worth it?
Many dermatologists don’t think so.
“Once you get to SPF 50, it’s really getting silly,” said Boston dermatologist, James Spencer. “SPF refers to multiples of how much longer it takes the skin to burn,” but it isn’t a linear progression.
An SPF of 30 doesn’t offer twice as much protection as an SPF of 15, for example. An SPF 15 blocks 94 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent, and SPF 45 blocks 98 percent.
Spencer recommends sunscreens with an SPF of 30, as does the American Academy of Dermatology, “because we know you’re not going to put enough on.”
In fact, the academy found that most sunscreen users put on only half as much sunscreen as they should to get the product’s claimed SPF protection. Making matters worse is the fact that sunscreen doesn’t last all day and needs to be reapplied every few hours.
When packing for your beach vacation, don’t forget the sunscreen. When planning for your beach vacation, don’t forget to call Caldwell Travel. We are here and ready to help!