Have you ever wondered what the SPF number on sunscreen means? One of the interesting facts on sunscreen is that the number indicates how long UVB rays will be resisted. Take the sunscreen number and multiply it by ten, if your skin usually starts burning after 10 minutes out in the sun. For example, SPF 15 will give you 150 minutes under the sun without the fear of sunburn. If you do not want wrinkles, pick a sunscreen that also blocks UVA rays. Sunscreens that protect you from both kinds of rays are labeled "broad spectrum."
Have you ever wondered about your sunscreen expiration date? The FDA has a requirement that all sunscreens should last for three years. This is not always true if the sunscreen is kept under the hot sun or in a hot car. It is suggested to replace the stuff each year to be on the safe side. If not, be careful how you store it and get rid of it when it seems strange in any way.
Have you ever wondered what sunscreen ingredients are? They include chemical blockers that are useful against UVA and UVB harmful rays. They are ingredients like Mexoryl and avobenzone. They can often irritate sensitive skin. Because heat breaks these ingredients down, it is wise to keep applying sunscreen to the skin while out in the sun. There are other blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that are often used in sunscreens to block rays, especially for a child's skin.
Facts on sunscreen include how long it will stay on the body. Keep in mind that water resistant does not mean that it is waterproof. There are some formulas that will stay on for a certain amount of time while swimming, but it will need to be reapplied frequently. Follow the directions on the tube or can.
FDA and Sunscreen
Another one of the interesting facts on sunscreen is that the FDA has some new regulations coming December 2012. Small manufacturers will have until 2013 to follow the new rules. One of the things that will be changed are the claims. Only SPF 15 or higher can make the claim that the risk of cancer or the aging of skin will be reduced. The FDA will expect that products that are not broad spectrum cannot claim to reduce the risk of cancer and aging. They will require that the label states: "Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging." Also, it will be required that sunscreen manufacturers cannot brag about instant protection or that the product will work for more than two hours without reapplication. The claims of waterproof, sweatproof and sunblock are not to be used.
My daughter just found some expired sunscreen here when she was over. We were just talking about this last weekend. Great job on this list. Thanks for sharing. I will now go and throw away my outdated sunscreen. H5 list.