Baffled About Sunscreen? What to Know Before Getting Your Up coming Bottle
With the recent release of the 2012 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you might be confused as to how to choose the right sunscreen and whether or not the bottle you own now is safe and effective. Buying sunscreen shouldn’t cause you to break out in a cold sweat, so here are a few simple yet important things to look for when it comes to sunscreen.
The number on your bottle stands for sun protection factor, and believe it or not, a higher number doesn’t equal more protection. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50. Studies show that sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 don’t offer greater protection, and many doctors argue that a higher number makes many people think a sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they’re more at risk for burns.
If your sunshiny adventures include water or sweating a lot, definitely choose a sunscreen that’s water-resistant. Know that these aren’t waterproof – they’ll only protect you about 40 to 80 minutes in the water, so you’ll need to reapply each time you take a dip.
Keep reading to learn which chemicals to avoid and to see a list of the safest, most effective sunscreens.