Sunscreen Rules

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With hundreds of sunscreens on the market, the U.S. food and drug administration has issued labeling rules to identify which products are best. Canada has yet to follow suit, but here are those suggestions:

Look for broad spectrum protection: If the label doesn’t say it provides “broad spectrum” protection against UVB and UVA rays, don’t buy it. Sunscreens must protect against both in order to help prevent skin cancer.

Look for an SPF of at least 15: The “sun protection factor” in sunscreens measures how long it takes to produce a burn on protected skin relative to unprotected skin. Dermatologists recommend people choose at least SPF 15, although many argue it’s better to start with SPF 30.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there is no evidence to support claims that sunscreen is waterproof. It wears off while swimming or sweating, and should be reapplied often to avoid skin damage.

Finally, one of the biggest sunscreen mistakes people make is not applying enough. The FDA says you need enough to fill a shot glass , that’s one ounce, to adequately cover exposed body parts. And remember, those harmful rays penetrate glass, so you need to wear the sunscreen while driving.

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