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Surprising Facts About SPF and Sunscreen

Why SPF and Your Skin Tone Matter


Grist

It’s a common misconception that sunscreens containing an SPF of over 50 aren’t any more effective. This actually isn’t true. The higher the SPF the better protected you’ll be. This especially applies to your skin tone. Paler people should always wear a high SPF sunscreen. The main reason you don’t see a lot of sunscreens on the market with SPF 100, for example, is that doctors believe they give people a false sense of security. You might not reapply as often or use as much sunscreen as you need to. If you have darker skin, you are not immune to skin cancer, sun damage, and wrinkles. You still need to wear sunscreen to protect yourself. Because darker skin contains more melanin, you don’t need to be as vigilant about wearing SPF 100 as a paler person, however. Melanin is your body’s natural protection against the sun. There are now more sunscreens on the market made for darker skin. These will go on more clearly but still, provide you with crucial protection against UV rays. Another misconception is that a base tan will protect you from sun damage. This isn’t true at all. The more you tan, the more sun damage you have. Tanning beds especially are always a no-go.

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