Sunscreen SPF70 or higher may be more beneficial
Sunscreen lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 70 or above provide better protection than those with an SPF of 30 or 50, even when under-applied, suggest study findings.
Internationally recognized regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dictate that sunscreen lotions be tested at an application density of 2 mg/cm2. However, the actual protection received is often substantially less because of consumer application densities ranging from 0.5 to 1 mg/cm2.
To measure the actual SPF values of various sunscreens applied in a typical fashion, Hao Ou-Yang (Neutrogena Corporation, Los Angeles, California, USA) and colleagues measured SPF values on 327 participants for six sunscreen products with labeled SPF values ranging from 30 to 100, applied at densities of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 mg/cm2.
Using data from 233 patients, the researchers found that for all six test sunscreens the average SPF value decreased progressively with lower application densities. However, reduced application densities yielded proportionately higher mean SPF values for products with high SPFs.
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