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A Safe Guide to Buying Sunscreen

Updated on August 21, 2012

There are many terms for it: Sunblock, sun tan lotion, sun cream or block out. Anything that you spread on your screen and prevent you from sunburn is called sunscreen. May it be in the form of gel, spray or other topical products that is applied on your skin. The use of sunscreen is to absorb or reflects some of the sun UV radiation from reaching your skin. Protecting your skin from UVA and UVB, two ultraviolet radiation damaging types, would prevent your skin from premature aging and prevent the risk of skin cancer.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, it is to measure how long would you be under the sun without getting burn. The higher the SPF, 15 or higher is good enough to protect you from the ultraviolet rays

Safe buying guide:

  • If you have darker skin, SPF 15 is good enough for you skin.
  • If you have lighter, fair skin, or your family has a history of skin cancer, a SPF of 30 or more may be wise choice for you.
  • SPF 15 filters only 93% of UVB while SPF 30 filters 97%. Choose which one suits you the best.
  • Look for "Broad Spectrum" on every sunscreen product. It protects your skin not only from UVB rays, but from UVA radiation. "Waterproof, sweat proof and sunblock has been banned to be displayed in every sunscreen product. The FDA ban this sunscreen label because of overstate claim of effectiveness. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen, you have to reapply again because it washes off by the water.
  • Or else if the product says, water resistant or sweat resistant, look for how much time longer you need to re-apply the sunscreen again. 40-80 minutes is the longest.
  • If you buy sunscreen that has 30 SPF and Broad Spectrum, you can be sure that it passed FDA requirement.
  • Look for sunscreen product that has ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide ingredient in it.

Sample Sunscreen Product with SPF of 15

California Tan sunscreen is water resistant that last for 80 minutes and it is oil free. It also features:

  • Enriched with antioxidant Green Tea and Coleous Root
  • Moisturize and condition your skin with the super fruit power of Go Jerry Extract


It has SPF 15 with broad spectrum on it. It has active ingredients like Avobenzone (2%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (3%), Oxybenzone (2.2%). It protects you from sunburn and decrease the risk of developing skin cancer.

Sunscreen with SPF 30

Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 has a moisturizer aloe that prevents your skin from dryness. It is hypo-allergenic and it is recognized product by the Canadian Dermatologist Association.

If you think that you need a sunscreen that has a higher SPF, think that sunscreen with 15 SPF, blocks about 93% UVB rays. A SPF of 30, blocks about 97% and 50-75 SPF blocks about 98% UVB rays. Think about that it has a slight difference. If you think that 100 SPF may protect you from UVB rays, according to experts, sunscreen could not protect you from the rays 100%. But there's fairly different of what SPF to use depending on your skin color.


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