Sunscreen Warning Which SPF is Best


NEW YORK – “I want to make sure she’s completely protected. I don’t want her to get any kind of skin cancer.”

Some people find choosing a sunscreen overwhelming with so many options. Now, new research suggests higher SPF sunscreens may be your best bet to avoid sunburn.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that SPF 100 was more protective than SPF 50. Dr. Darrell Rigel is one of the study’s authors.

“This was a real-use study, where people actually used it instead of testing it in a lab because people under-apply sunscreen, the higher SPF is more-forgiving,” Dr. Rigel says. “That’s really what the advantage was for the average user, if they put on a little less or skimp or a little bit, they’re still getting strong protection.”

Researchers compared SPF 50 versus 100 on skiers in Colorado. The study found the SPF 50 side of the face was 11 times more likely to burn compared to the SPF 100 side. Dr. Rigel advises choosing a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher.

“You want to look for the words “broad spectrum” because that means it protects ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. You want something that’s water resistant 80 minutes, that’s the maximum of protection,” Dr. Rigel says.

Although, Jessica chooses shade over sun.

“As I got older and started understanding what could happen I realized I need to be putting on sunscreen,” Jessica says.

She now plans to reach for the highest SPF available under the sun.

(Meg Oliver, CBS News)