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What SPF of sunscreen is best?

By Anonymous May 30, 2009 - 9:20am
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What is the best sunscreen to use to protect yourself from the sun? Are there differences in SPF and the color of your skin?

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Like Michele, I have some shirts with built-in sunscreen that I just love to wear. I'm so pale and have such a high prevalence of skin cancer in my family (and have had several precancerous spots removed over the years), and yet I get so tired of putting on the sunscreen all the time. I love the shirts, especially when I'm on the beach and forget to reapply the sunscreen. I wear one of my long sleeve shirts on that has the protection in the material and a big floppy hat, and it works great. When I'm not wearing sun protective shirts, I only use 50 SPF or higher sunscreen. I still get tan at times with 50 SPF, as it doesn't block everything.

May 31, 2009 - 11:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for the great information and links. The information is very helpful for this time of year.

May 31, 2009 - 10:14am

Hi Susan,

I just wrote this article on Sunscreen you might want to read.


The sunscreen SPF should be above 30 but the problem is we all forget to reapply it often enough to keep it working.

I own a few sunscreen shirts where the shirts are rated themselves with sunscreen protection that work pretty well. If you are going to be at the beach or if by the pool all day, there are special shirts with sunscreen in them that can get wet and are comfortable to wear.


May 31, 2009 - 7:55am
EmpowHER Guest

Here is some additional info I found on this cool site...

May 30, 2009 - 12:19pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Melissa

People with darker skin do have a little more natural protection that very pale people but they are certainly not immune to the burns, skin cancers or the accelerated aging that too much sun exposure results in.

Most adults need Factor 30 or above and it needs to be applied about every two hours, even if it's waterproof because swimming and sweating WILL cause it to lose it's effectiveness. Children are best off with Factor 50 or above because their baby skin is very sensitive to the sun.

Sunblock needs to protect against both UVA and UVB rays - these are called broad spectrum sun blocks.

We all need a little sun - about 15 minutes or so every day, in order for our bodies to absorb the Vitamin D that the sun gives us. But any more sun exposure than that should be blocked out with sun protectant. Most people who use anything under Factor 30 will find themselves tanning (or burning). My kids wear Factor 50 daily yet still get a slight tan. I haven't figured this out yet!

May 30, 2009 - 11:19am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks for the great info, susanc! And everybody remember that tanning indicates damage to your skin, not health!

May 30, 2009 - 2:47pm
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