SPF 50 vs. SPF 100: Does it matter? Sunscreen myths debunked

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By Natalie Hee,

HOUSTON — For years we have been plagued with finding a sunscreen with the right amount of SPF, UVA protection, UVB radiation protection and skin cancer protection. With so many brands, it makes you wonder what’s the difference?

We chatted with Pierre Urban and his kids lather on their go-to sunscreen — organic with SPF 50 — for a day at the zoo.

“We just put it on,” Urban said. “We do it about every hour, so we’re smelling like sunscreen right now. It’s our new fragrance for the summer.”

Unlike Urban, most people are not using as much sunscreen as often as they should. But the longer they wait, the higher their risk of getting skin cancer down the road becomes.

“I usually just use sunscreen when I’m out in the sun. Normally, I don’t use it during the day,” Scott McBroom said.

Dermatologist Dr. Milton D. Moore said we should all be applying a thin layer of sunscreen every single day, regardless of whether we have a dark or fair skin complexion.

“You should look in the mirror and apply it to your face, your neck and your arms. It should be a daily routine. You should not use the same sunscreen for your face as you use for your body,” Moore said.

According to Moore, SPF 30 should be the minimum, but anything above SPF 50 doesn’t really make a difference.

So all you moms reaching for the 100-proof— can relax!

As far as the argument between spray or lotion, and brand name versus generic, well apparently — none of that really matters!

“Don’t make it so complicated. Just get it and use it and use it every day,” Moore said.

So remember, when gearing up for a scorching hot summer, the best thing to do with sunscreen is apply, lather and repeat.



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