How to read a sunscreen label!

The sun’s rays can lead to skin damage, premature aging and skin cancer, so what if there were something you could apply daily to help protect your skin? Good thing there is: sunscreen! Making the choice to wear sunscreen every day should be a no-brainer, but selecting the right SPF product can be challenging if you don’t understand sunscreen labeling standards. Learning a few key things will make you a better shopper when it comes to protecting your skin.

Broad Spectrum

According to the FDA, only products with SPF 15 or higher and the label “broad spectrum” have been shown to help reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, in addition to preventing sunburn. Broad spectrum means the sunscreen has been proven to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Learn the difference between UVA and UVB rays.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor which measures how effectively a sunscreen protects the skin from UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 15 protects your skin from reddening 15 times longer than your skin does without sun protection A higher SPF rating does not necessarily mean a better level of protection from the sun.

Jamie Riley
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

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