Making sense of sunscreens:
SPF 30 is sufficient
Sunscreens with high sun protection factors, or SPFs, are only marginally superior to those with lower ratings. For example, an SPF 30 product blocks 97 percent of UVB rays, while an SPF 45 product blocks about 98 percent of rays.
“That one percent really doesn't make a whole lot of difference,” said Lawrence Wang, M.D., a dermatologist at St. Anthony’s. “For my patients, I recommend SPF 30 or above.”
What is important, he said, is to reapply the sunscreen every hour and a half, or whenever one gets out of the water. And be sure to apply enough – for the whole body, one needs enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. Cover all exposed areas, including ear tips.
“I also recommend wearing hats, especially for men with thinning hair,” Dr. Wang said.
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