Check The Label: Important Facts To Know About Sunscreen This Summer
As a plastic surgeon, I see countless patients every day who are frustrated with things like aging, wrinkles, discolorations, sunspots, sagging and other issues. Living in Arizona, the #1 cause of premature aging is sun exposure. Watch this ABC 15 segment on skin cancer risk. With this high risk factor for Valley residents, it is crucial to be aware of the best way to protect yourself from overexposure. Currently, there is a widespread belief that the higher the SPF, the more protected your skin will be. Well, it’s time to put down that SPF 80 sunscreen, because according to the FDA, it’s not providing any extra benefits. Here are the important facts you need to know about sunscreen before buying that new bottle for your beach getaway:
Based on a new law passed last year, the FDA has started requiring the relabeling of sunscreen, capping the marketing SPF level at 50. Under the new law, sunscreens can also no longer market themselves as “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” or “sunblock” which the FDA calls “an exaggeration of performance.” Any other special claims will need to be approved by the FDA and supported by data before it can be used on the label. Watch this Skin Cancer segment with Diane Sawyer to learn more about the new law.
For the highest level of protection, the classic pink Coppertone baby sunscreen is your best bet. Soon, all sunscreen’s SPF will be capped at 50+ since the FDA does not think there is sufficient data to support the claim that sunscreens with higher SPFs actually offer more sun protection.
Throw out your sunscreen from last year. The active ingredients in sunscreen expire just like milk or eggs expire. Every season you should buy a new bottle to ensure you’re getting the protection you need.
Never intentionally tan your skin. If you want a sun kissed look there are hundreds of sunless tanning products on the market that mimic the bronze glow you’re after safely. Some new products even contain sunscreen so you can look tan while still protecting yourself. These Sunless Tanning Tips from The Today Show offer lots of information about how to achieve the perfect tan without damaging your skin.
Now that you know the facts, you will be able to find the best sunscreen that will suit your needs and keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays. Equipped with a great sunscreen (no higher than SPF 50!) you can enjoy your summer and know you are protecting yourself from overexposure. Visit the Skin Klinic of Paradise Valley to schedule your skin analysis and find the best skincare products.