Are sunscreens with a higher SPF actually more effective?

Coming from someone who is 100% Irish, I know all about sunscreen and the different kinds, SPF’s, brands, etc. My mom has tried many different sunscreens for us to use and was also attempting to find the most effective kind. Throughout the years, she has been purchasing all different levels of SPF and different features they all have. As I was thinking about all the trials she has attempted, I wondered at what point does the SPF begin getting too high, therefore making ineffective? Different experiments proved this theory true. By getting the SPF so high, companies are very likely to add other, unknown substances to the sunscreen that could actually be harming the person. It also shows that people who think they’re putting on such a high SPF are much less likely to reapply, thinking they have been protected for the whole day,  “As a result, they get as many UVB-inflicted sunburns as unprotected sunbathers and are likely to absorb more damaging UVA radiation.”

Everyones attempt as they wear sunscreen is clearly to get the most sun protection they can. As you continue up the scale of high SPF’s, the increase actually becomes worthless. Many people have studied this and shown that “According to Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays.” This shows that there is a cut off as to when the sunscreen stops being effective. It also shows that no matter what you’re wearing, the sunscreens should still be reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Companies also claim so many things about sunscreens, saying they’re waterproof and that spray cans are just as effective as lotion. These different claims have been proved incorrect as Medical Daily shows that sunscreen cannot actually be waterproof, but only water resistant, “The product can only be water-resistant, which means the chemicals that block UVA and UBV rays may still easily wash off the skin.”

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2 thoughts on “Are sunscreens with a higher SPF actually more effective?

  1. Kevin Taylor

    I have the same problem where I burn so easily and my parents stock up on all different types of sunscreen in the summer. Usually they buy sunscreen with SPF 60 or higher, thinking they are getting the most protection. Its very interesting to know that it actually has the opposite affect on a person. My parents never bought spray sunscreen because they believe its bad for your skin. Heres an article I found about the negative health effects of spray sunscreen.

  2. Cassidy Paige Heiserman

    I burn pretty easily as well! I have always heard that SPFs are all the same after a certain number, but I never knew the exact statistics of it. I know a lot of people who will spray on SPF 50 one time in the morning and think they are set for the whole day, and then get confused when they look like a lobster! I also agree with the fact that sprays are not as effective as lotions. I have found that personally, when I wear lotions I am typically find, but when I use the spray I often burn.

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