In a previous post, we discussed sunscreen safety but did not address sunscreen efficacy. A recent study of top-rated sunscreens sold on Amazon.com revealed that 40% of the 65 top-rated products didn’t meet all three of the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) recommended criteria:
1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater
2. Broad Spectrum (UVA &UVB) protection
3. Water and/or sweat resistance
These components are particularly important when spending a significant amount of time outdoors.
It’s advisable to check your sunscreen’s label to confirm it satisfies the AAD criteria. In addition, The Skin Cancer Foundation’s website, www.skincancer.org, has lists of safe and effective sun protection products including sunscreens that carry its “seal of recommendation.”
It’s important to apply enough sunscreen to optimally protect your skin. This means applying the equivalent of a shot glass (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body –a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone. Finally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently after swimming, heavy perspiration, or toweling off.