The seemingly sudden emergence of “mid-summer like” conditions in central Indiana has led to many people experiencing some of their first sun burns of the year.
While dermatologists recommend everyone wear sunscreen to help protect your skin, a new study says about 75% of sunscreens don’t meet the standard for sun protection, or have ingredients linked to health issues.
CBS4 spoke with Dr. Melanie Kingsley, a leading dermatologist with IU Health who highlighted best practices for navigating sunscreens. Kingsley says the most important is to make sure your product has an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher.
“Anything less than that is not going to be as effective. If you do have SPF 30, it’s 97% coverage. Going from SPF 30 to SPF 50 is about 1% more coverage, SPF 100 is another percent. So just make sure it’s SPF 30 or higher,”
For products to avoid, Kingsley says check to make sure the product doesn’t contain benzene, as it’s a known carcinogen capable of causing cancer.
Once you have the product of your choice, Kingsley says it important to reapply every two hours as the sun, sweat, or water cause the sunscreen’s protection to degrade.
Kingsley also stresses that sunscreens are needed even on a cloudy day.
“I see my worst sunburns on patients who were out all day on a cloudy day on vacation or just around town. And they don’t feel the sun beating down on them, so they don’t realize how much sun exposure they’re getting,” she said.
If you’re looking for a little extra protection for yourself or for your kids, Kingsley recommends UPF clothing (Ultraviolet Protective Clothing) which helps to block UV rays while also helping to keep you cool.