Top dermatologists answer all your burning questions about sun protectionIf we lived in pristine, temperature-controlled labs, SPF 15 would be adequate--if not optimal--protection against sunburn (caused by UVB rays) and skin aging and cancer (caused by UVA and UVB rays). But we live in the real (sweaty, splashy, windy) world, and we don't use as much sunscreen as we should. In fact, the protection most of us get from SPF 15 is more like SPF 3 to 7. That's why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using broad-spectrum SPF 30. It's great advice, but it doesn't clear up all the sun-safety confusion. So we asked the experts to solve your toughest quandaries, one by one.
What's the highest SPF that's legit? I heard it's 50, so why do I see products with much higher numbers? --Veronica Walters, 33, Bensalem, PA
If you apply sunscreen correctly (see next question below), SPF 50 offers the maximum protection necessary. You're seeing SPF 80 and even SPF 110 on shelves because of "marketing, marketing,Read More »from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sun Safety