Many Sunscreens Aren’t the SPF They Tell you they are

 

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They found that 28 of them weren’t the SPF they claimed to be on the label. And three had an SPF of less than 15. That’s not enough sun protection!

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The magazine says they’ve seen this pattern of results over several years. Unfortunately, your sunscreen may not be protecting you as much as you think, according to a new report from Consumer Reports. The magazine tested and rated more than 60 sprays, lotions and sticks with sun protection factors (SPF) of 30 or higher.

They found that 28 of them weren’t the SPF they claimed to be on the label. Consumer Reports Magazine tested and rated more than 60 brands of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) claims of 30 or higher 30 being the. They found that 28 of them weren’t the SPF they claimed to be on the label.

And three had an SPF of less than 15. That’s not enough sun protection! The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The magazine says they’ve seen this pattern of results over several years.

The 11 tested sunscreens that didn’t stand up to their claims are: Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance SPF 50 (delivered SPF 28) Babyganics Mineral-Based SPF 50+ (delivered SPF 25) Well at Walgreens Baby SPF 50 (delivered SPF 25). Consumer Reports recently tested 34 sunscreens and found almost a third of them didn’t meet the SPF claim on their labels, missing the mark by anywhere from 16 to 70 percent. But there’s good news too: many of the sunscreens Consumer Reports tested met their SPF claims and some of the most effective products were also the lowest-priced.

EWG’s research shows that only 21 percent of sunscreens on the marketactually do what they claim to and are sufficiently effective at protecting. A new study published by Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals many sunscreens that they’ve tested appears to be not as effective as they claim – they aren’t protecting you from the sun. This research looked at 1,700 SPF products, including moisturisers and lip balms with SPF, from a range of brands, and tested their effectiveness. In these cases, SPF values measure the overall magnitude of protection.

Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF valued 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. Sunscreens that aren’t broad spectrum and have an SPF value between two and 14 can only prevent against sunburn. Breaking Down SPF Numbers.

The high SPF sunscreens have been gaining much attention and more people are falling for them simply because of their higher SPF claim. Sunscreen products of 30+SPF rating are pretty standard and the more recent formula containing 50+ SPF rating of sunscreen are just about 1 percent more effective than the prior in terms of blocking the harmful ultraviolet rays.

List of related literature:

The new labeling will also inform consumers on the back of the product that sunscreens labeled as both Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher) not only protect against sunburn, but, if used as directed with other sun protection measures, can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

“Wilderness Medicine E-Book: Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features” by Paul S. Auerbach
from Wilderness Medicine E-Book: Expert Consult Premium Edition Enhanced Online Features
by Paul S. Auerbach
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

For broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF ≥15, the labels will state that the product helps prevent sunburn and, if used as directed with other sun protection measures, decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.

“Cosmeceuticals E-Book: Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology Series” by Zoe Diana Draelos, Jeffrey S. Dover, Murad Alam
from Cosmeceuticals E-Book: Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology Series
by Zoe Diana Draelos, Jeffrey S. Dover, Murad Alam
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

Most importantly, for any sunscreens with broad-spectrum SPF 15 or more, it can be claimed that ‘if used as directed with other sun protection measures, (sunscreens),’ they ‘decrease the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.’

“Comprehensive Dermatologic Drug Therapy E-Book” by Stephen E. Wolverton, Jashin J. Wu
from Comprehensive Dermatologic Drug Therapy E-Book
by Stephen E. Wolverton, Jashin J. Wu
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

Sunscreens previously labeled with an SPF greater than 30 would be changed to SPF 30 plus.

“Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management” by Richard A. Helms, David J. Quan
from Textbook of Therapeutics: Drug and Disease Management
by Richard A. Helms, David J. Quan
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006

It might be appropriate at the same time to consider simplifying SPF labelling to take into account the way sunscreens are actually used by the consumer.

“Poucher’s Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps” by H. Butler
from Poucher’s Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps
by H. Butler
Springer Netherlands, 2013

“Broad-spectrum” sunscreens are combination products that absorb both UVA and UVB, and families should be advised to use products labeled as “broad spectrum” with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30, reapply liberally at least every 2 hr while outdoors, and reapply after swimming.

“Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 2-Volume Set” by Robert M. Kliegman, MD, Bonita F. Stanton, MD, Joseph St. Geme, MD, Nina F Schor, MD, PhD
from Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 2-Volume Set
by Robert M. Kliegman, MD, Bonita F. Stanton, MD, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

However, sunscreens are classified in different ways according to the single ingredient and may fall either

“Cosmetic Creams: Development, Manufacture and Marketing of Effective Skin Care Products” by Wilfried Rähse
from Cosmetic Creams: Development, Manufacture and Marketing of Effective Skin Care Products
by Wilfried Rähse
Wiley, 2020

It has been shown in studies that using sunscreens with even a high SPF value does not provide appropriate protection against UVA radiation, which is responsible for photoaging and skin cancer formation.25,26 Therefore, in order to prevent the long-term effects, protection is needed against both types of rays.

“Introduction to Cosmetic Formulation and Technology” by Gabriella Baki, Kenneth S. Alexander
from Introduction to Cosmetic Formulation and Technology
by Gabriella Baki, Kenneth S. Alexander
Wiley, 2015

These claims include but are not limited to the following: ‘‘Sunblock,’’ ‘‘sweatproof,’’ and ‘‘waterproof.’’

“Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) TITLE 21 Food and Drugs (1 April 2017)” by Office of the Federal Register (U.S.)
from Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) TITLE 21 Food and Drugs (1 April 2017)
by Office of the Federal Register (U.S.)
Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, 2008

In 2011 the FDA approved new labeling, noting that sunscreens labeled as both “Broad Spectrum” and“SPF 15” (or higher), ifused regularly, as directed and in combination with other sun protection measures will help reduce the risk of skin cancer, prevent sunburn, and reduce the risk of early skin aging.

“American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition” by Roberta Larson Duyff
from American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition
by Roberta Larson Duyff
HMH Books, 2012

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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11 comments

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  • I love Korean and Japanese SPF especially Kao biore watery essence spf 50 discovered on bodynseoul.com ❤ an amazing selection of light easily absorbed SPF 50!! Wear SPF every day the best thing you can do for anti aging!!

  • This VIDEO is 100 percent a lie pertaining to brown skin HUEMANS. The sun will not damage our skin and putting on sun block will degrease the amount of nutrients we absorb from the sun of god. Caucasoids need it because the sun of god naturally try’s to destroy anything that lack color because it’s an unnatural creation meaning it wasn’t created by the god of the sun

  • Hi Dr Sam love your videos and ive learned so much from them. I know you recommend at least 5% zinc oxide may i ask what you base this on? Are there studies stating that? I ask because Ive heard different percentages recommended (from 5 to 18%) and Im confused. Thank you!

  • exposing skin to the sun is not safe..?  ya we have only been doing it for as long as we have been on this earth!  just limit your exposure to a small time frame (depending on your skin color) and cover your skin when your in the sun as much as you can.. no need for all these weird chemicals on us, just live naturally, oh and if your fairly dark or black then you really have nothing to worry about because your skin has pigmentation which serves as a natural sun block and protector 

  • Many in science call “chemical” sunscreens organic sunscreen, and “physical” sunscreen inorganic sunscreen. This is due to their chemistry, and that both kinds (and everything) has chemicals.

  • Hi Dr Sam

    Thank you for your video.

    When one is at work or out, and it’s been several hours since you applied skincare, SPF and makeup, what are the options?

    Do you need to somehow cleanse and reapply skincare, SPF and make up again? This will take some time, and most women won’t be able to manage it.

    Or can one just top up the SPF and make up already on your face? Or will this cause a build up of bacteria and congestion?

    So confused. Please help. Thank you.

  • What if you are outside all day, but one wears hats and sunglasses, so the sun never touches the face, do we still have to apply every 2 hours?
    And does sunscreen has to be the last skincare step?

  • Damn I think I need this uv camera so that I know if i cover up my face properly or not and so that I can see wether I clean it properly or not����

  • ☀️☀️I have a a lot of non-nano natural mineral sunscreen available on eBay by the company badger for under 13$!!!! ☀️☀️
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113269739385

  • We need the sun on our bodies, if we ever get to see it long enough… sunscreens are dangerous, if you sit out in the sun all day expect to be burnt, an hours sun is good for everyone, i see parents smothering their children with factor 50, completely blocking the suns rays and vitamin d from the child, no wonder children are ill. and look like zombies WE NEED THE SUN. Chemtrails hiding it from us now… blocking our nurturing life giving sun… yes folks we need our sunshine, and anyone convincing you otherwise is dangerous to your health.

  • Another great video Dr.Sam. I use Elta Md uv clear and love it as it sits beautifully under make up and gives great protection but I find it expensive to keep replacing. Any cheaper alternatives you can recommend that sits nice under make up? I purchased Cetaphil daily defends moisturiser with spf 50 uva as it was £8 but it’s so greasy! My make up slides straight off it ☹