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    Updated on May 1, 2020. Posted on Apr 28, 2020

    10 Facts About Sunscreen That Most People Don't Know Due To Marketing Tricks

    SPF 30 sunscreen offers nearly the same amount of protection as SPF 100+.

    A while ago, when I was lathering up with some SPF 110 because I thought it would protect me the most, a friend told me that it wouldn't protect me any more than a lower SPF would. My mind was blown because I've been spending extra on higher SPFs for years. So, I decided to talk to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling of Sperling Dermatology to figure out the facts. In doing so, I found out some very important information about sunscreen.

    Krista Torres

    Before we begin, let's discuss a few things. The two different types of sun rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays cause skin cancer and aging while UVB rays cause sunburning and blistering to the skin.

    "UVA rays account for about 95% of UV radiation reaching Earth and they also penetrate the skin more deeply, causing genetic damage to the cells. They can even penetrate through windows. UVB rays are associated with sunburns and blistering and cannot penetrate through glass," explained Dr. Sperling.

    The SPF on a bottle of sunscreen means "sun protection factor" and it tells you how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned while wearing the sunscreen compared to how long you could stay in the sun without sunscreen. Here are some interesting sunscreen facts Dr. Sperling shared with us:

    1. Any sunscreen over SPF 30 will only work about 1% better.

    "SPF of 30 protects against 97% of sun rays. Anything over 30 has little additive benefit," she said. No sunscreen can shield you 100% from the sun's rays, so all SPFs over 30 will only give you about 1% — 2% at most — of additional protection.

    As far as pricing goes, when I looked online at a few places, the cost for SPF 100 sunscreen was about 40% more expensive than the SPF 30 across the board for all brands.

    2. You need a shot glass–size of sunscreen to fully protect your skin — using that same amount each time you reapply.

    Krista Torres

    You need one full ounce of sunscreen per application for it to work properly. Dr. Sperling said that a good way to remember how much you need for your whole body is to think about filling a shot glass full of sunscreen. A quick spray of SPF is not enough!

    3. There is no such thing as "waterproof" sunscreen.

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    Dr. Sperling informed us that the FDA no longer allows sunscreen companies to use the word "waterproof" on their bottles. "Sunscreen can only be water resistant for 40 or 80 minutes," she explained.

    4. Sunscreen really does expire.

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    Dr. Sperling said to not reuse old sunscreen from the year before. She recommends getting a new one each season.

    5. You need to put on sunscreen BEFORE you get into the sun and you also need to reapply it AFTER you've been in the sun for two hours.

    "You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming," she said.

    6. There are two types of SPF sunscreens — chemical and physical.

    7. And while there is no evidence suggesting that any kind of sunscreen causes cancer, Dr. Sperling suggests using physical SPF if you're worried.

    8. But, overall, it doesn't matter what kind of sunscreen you use — they all should offer the same results.

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    Dr. Sperling said spray, lotion, powder, tinted, chemical, and physical should all work fine if you're using an adequate amount.

    9. The SPF in your makeup — no matter how high — is not enough to really protect your skin.

    Krista Torres

    Dr. Sperling said people need a separate SPF in addition to their makeup because there is not an adequate amount in it.

    NOTE: Obviously, using foundation with sunscreen in it won't hurt anything! Just know it is not enough alone to protect your skin.

    10. Every skin type needs sunscreen.

    Luminola / Getty Images

    "Some myths people believe is that dark-colored skin tones don't need sunscreen, but that is completely false," she said.

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