A recent Consumer Reports study of 20 popular sunscreen brands found that only 2 meet SPF claimed after water emersion. Some brands tested had as much as 40% less then advertised.

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Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 4.38.52 PMBasics on sun protection –  protect your body against both UVA (long wave-cause wrinkles, skin cancer) & UVB (short waves). UVA rays are less intense than UVB but penetrate deeper  also going thru clouds and glass! UVA accounts for 95% of the rays that reach the earth.

SPF means Sun Protection Factor and refers ONLY to UVB ray blocking. An SPF 15 rating blocks 93% while a SPF 100 rating blocks 99%. Realize that NO sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays.

Sunscreens on the market can work in one of two manners: absorb the rays or scatter/reflect them before they can enter your skin. For a product to be labeled ‘broad spectrum‘ the FDA requires that a critical wavelength of at least 370 nanometers (nm) of rays be blocked.

POI  (point of information -not a Hawaiian dish of taro root)

UVA 400 nm – 320 nm

UVB 320 nm – 290 nm

Important ALSO is your actions:

– use a ‘broad-spectrum’ water-resistant sun protector and reapply every 2 hours/when sweat/when come out of water- cover up wherever you do not apply sunscreen

– increase water intake -not alcohol or soda

– avoid sun 10am -2pm sun -find shade!

Have fun in the sun!