It's Time to Break Out the SPF 100
If you want real protection from Sunburns it may be time to break out the SPF 100...
There are 4 core tenets that the dermatological community has always agreed on:
1. Sunscreen should be a part of your daily skin routine.
2. Sunscreen should be applied and reapplied all over your body.
3. Darker complexions are also at risk for sun damage and skin cancer.
4. Anything below SPF 30 and above SPF 50 is overkill and ineffective.
The fourth rule is where things get a bit hairy. We've been told for decades that we didn't really need to use sunscreen with an SPF above 50. Still, you could walk down any skin care aisle and find sunscreen products ranging from a meager SPF 15 all the way up to SPF 100. Johnson and Johnson just decided to find out if that belief still holds up. So, they funded a study and published it in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology.
The goal of the study was to compare the sunburn protection of SPF 100 and SPF 50. The scientists performed the study by taking 199 healthy men and woman and putting them through a double-blind study. Each participant wore half SPF 100 and half SPF 50 on a designated treatment area. The administrators were able to evaluate each SPF's efficacy through comparing their erythema scores, or level of sunburn damage. The results really called into question the belief that SPF 100 isn't necessary. Following an average of 6 hours in the sun 55% of the participants were sunburned on the SPF 50 side but only 5% were sunburned on the SPF 100 side. They only performed the study for one day so it's not clear what the long-term benefits may or may not be. However, it's still a compelling enough revelation that'll make you reconsider your sunscreen choices.