Many consumers are confused by sunscreen labels and with good reason. UVA, UVB, SPF? Who can keep all those straight? And do you know what they actually mean and what your sunscreen is actually protecting you from?
In a survey conducted by a team at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, 43 percent of respondents understood what SPF meant and few could identify how well sunscreen protected from skin aging (7 percent), sunburn (23 percent), and skin cancer (38 percent).
It is important to understand your sunscreen labels and use sunscreen daily, not just when you take a trip to the beach.
- SPF stands for sun protection factor. It is an indication of how long it will take you to burn. So if you usually develop a burn in 10 minutes, SPF 30 will allow you to stay out for 300 minutes before you develop a burn. Most people need to reapply every two hours.
- UVA is ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB. UVA damage is associated with skin aging and wrinkling and damages skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.
- UVB is ultraviolet radiation that is responsible for sunburn. It damages the skin’s superficial layers and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.
To properly protect yourself with sunscreen, you should choose one with an SPF of 15 or higher. SPF 15 protects you from 93 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, and SPF 50 will protect you from 98 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. For protection against UVA rays, make sure your sunscreen is labeled multi spectrum, broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection.
At LipoLaser of South Jersey, our team is dedicated to providing healthy skin care treatments and tips to our patients. Call (856) 334-1764 today for your consultation with one of our experienced team members. We welcome patients from Marlton, Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel and throughout South Jersey.