Which sunscreen is right for you?
There may be no easy answer unless you understand sunscreen lingo, the American Academy of Dermatology says.
A recent study in JAMA Dermatology found that fewer than half of people asked at a dermatology clinic understood the meaning of “broad spectrum” or “SPF.”
The academy offers this primer about sunscreen lingo:
- “Broad spectrum” sunscreen means it can protect you from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. This will help prevent skin cancer, early skin aging and sunburn.
- Sunburn protection factor (SPF) determines how well sunscreen protects from sun damage. SPF of 15 filters 93 percent of UVB rays, while 30 SPF filters 97 percent of those rays.
- No sunscreen is entirely waterproof, but some are water-resistant. The product is considered water resistant if it stays on wet skin for 40 to 80 minutes.
- Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, even if your skin stays dry.
- A chemical sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays, while a physical sunscreen protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays.