When you head out into the sun, and you’ve taken the time to apply sunscreen, the last thing you should have to worry about is the efficacy or safety of this product. You should be able to enjoy knowing that you are protected for at least a few hours before the necessary reapplication. But that’s not what’s going on, according to a new study. In fact, the findings of it reveal that over 40% of sunscreens do not meet the basic safety guidelines.
The labels of 65 different sunscreen products were examined, which account for the best-selling of these products in the US at the present. Over 40% of them had barely any resistance to sweat and water, and did not meet the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) guidelines. While the cost varied from product to product, no additional safety add-ons were found to be related to cost, the study said.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the regulation of sunscreen, and requires makers to label them properly, there are minimal requirements that these makers can adhere to while still getting their products on store shelves. The AAD says that you should look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects you from UVB and UVA light. Furthermore, it’s advised that you seek an SPF rating of at least 30, which can shield your skin from almost 97% of any deadly radiation the sun emits.
What’s more, if you opt for a sweat or water resistant sunscreen, you can reapply it less often because it’s thicker and more resistant. Experts say that even the best sunscreens only last 40 minutes or so during immersion, but confusing labels make it appear like they offer as many as four hours of protection.
Of the 65 sunscreen products that were reviewed in this study, 90% were broad-spectrum and 62% claimed to be moisture resistant. Yet over 40% of them failed to meet the general safety guidelines of a good sunscreen.
If you are looking for adequate protection this summer, read the label. Assure that the sunscreen you choose is SPF 30 or stronger, and that it’s moisture resistant and broad-spectrum to get the greatest level of protection.