Monday, July 23, 2012

The 411 on Sunscreens’

Sunscreen, we know we need it, but how many of us have walked into the drugstore and have been bewildered by the different sunscreen brands and SPF options?  Pick an SPF 100 and I’m good to go right?  Not exactly.

The FDA has finally released some guidelines on sunscreens to help us understand what we need to look for when looking for a sunscreen.

Only sunscreens that protect against BOTH UVA rays and UVB rays can be labeled “broad spectrum.  UVA rays are the rays that cause us to age and wrinkle.  UVB rays are the sunrays that actually cause us to burn and can lead to sun damage.

Sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher can say that they prevent sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer on their labels. Sunscreens with SPF less than 15 will be required to carry a warning that they have not been shown to prevent skin cancer or aging. It is often tricky to know how much SPF is needed.  The key to any sunscreen no matter the SPF is to simply REAPPLY every 2 hours.  We at FSC recommend an SPF of 30.

Sunscreens will not be able to call themselves waterproof or sweat proof. Remember, no sunscreen can be completely water proof when in the water. They will be labeled instead as sweat/water-resistant. And will be required to indicate how long before the protect wares off.

We hope that clears up some of your questions.  We also carry some great sunscreens at the office.  At your next visit let us know and we can make some recommendations for you.