Now that the summer is coming, it is important for all people to know how to protect themselves from the sun. However, many are confused and do not know how to apply sunscreen properly or which are the creams which offer the best protection. Therefore, every year, the Environmental Protection Group designs a guide to help people choose what’s best for them in matters of sunscreen.
- Sunscreen higher than SPF 50 does usually not provide more protection.
- Always check the label on the bottle for ingredients, SPF, and spectrum coverage.
- Besides using sun cream, wear protective clothing and avoid peak sun hours.
This guide covers around 1500 sun products and rates them according to the ingredients they contain and how safe they might be. Contrary to the expectations, products with SPF 50 or higher receive a lower score than others. They contain retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone, chemicals which put people at a higher risk of skin cancer.
Fortunately, retinyl palmitate is being used in sunscreen less often, and the FDA has started questioning the safety of oxybenzone. However, everybody should check the label for ingredients before buying a bottle of sun cream. Besides, they should look at the SPF number and the spectrum of radiation covered.
People often get confused by the sunscreen marketed as having a SPF of 90 or 100. The FDA is currently debating if producers should still be allowed to attach such labeling to their bottles. A protection factor significantly higher than 50 does, in fact, not offer more protection than FPS 50, so such marketing could be misleading.
Also, sunscreen is not enough for optimal protection. After reapplying the protective cream every two hours or after coming back from swimming, people should always wear protective clothes, stay in the shade as much as possible, and avoid spending much time outside during the peak sun hours.
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