Sunscreens of 70+ SPF protect at normal usage

April 25, 2012

Water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 70 or greater can help to adequately protect people against skin cancer and photodamage, even when applied sparingly, a new study suggests.

Los Angeles - Water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 70 or greater can help to adequately protect people against skin cancer and photodamage, even when applied sparingly, a new study suggests.

The study, published online April 1 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, cites the use of sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 70.

Researchers from Neutrogena and other consumer companies measured the effectiveness of six sunscreens when applied in amounts typically used by consumers. Volunteers applied the sunscreens, with protection labeled from 30 SPF to 100 SPF, in varying densities to determine how well the products shield skin against solar rays.

According to HealthDay News, the study found the greatest benefits came from sunscreen labeled 70 SPF or greater, even at lower application densities. Data also showed a linear relationship between application density and actual SPF.

"Sunscreens with SPF 70 and above add additional clinical benefits when applied by consumers at typically used amounts, by delivering an actual SPF that meets the minimum SPF levels recommended for skin cancer and photodamage prevention," the authors wrote. "In contrast, sunscreens with SPF 30 or 50 may not produce sufficient protection at actual consumer usage levels."

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