Get The Scoop: The Good & Bad Sunscreens

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

2016 Sunscreen Guide

Summer is here! Grab your towel and your sunscreen–but first get the inside scoop on sunscreens. Did you know that SPF 100 is only 2% better than SPF 30? Did you know that ALL sunscreens wear off after 2-3 hours? Read Evolve’s quick summary to avoid turning pasty white into nuclear red.

SPF >100?

You have probably noticed higher and higher SPF numbers surfacing on sunscreens over the last few years. But is SPF 100+ that much better than SPF 30? What exactly does SPF mean? The truth is that it isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s easy to understand with this chart.Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

In the chart to the left, it’s easy to see that SPF 100 blocks out 99% of the rays while SPF blocks out 97%. SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer. And notice that SPF 100 does not block 100%–none of them do!

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie

Another way to visualize how SPF works.

The SPF rating is not intuitive and doesn’t make a lot of sense to the average person. For instance, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays.

“I don’t care if it’s SPF 800 or the best UVA protection, after a few hours it’s gone,” says one Dermatologist. “The best way make sure you are protected is to reapply sunscreen often.”

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends these 3 simple and basic points when selecting a sunscreen:

  • Broad spectrum: this means you protect your skin from both types of harmful UV rays — the UVA rays and the UVB rays.
  • SPF 30 or higher: SPF rating of 30 or higher is recommended (but benefit over 45 is questionable)
  • Water resistant: This tells you that the sunscreen will stay on wet or sweaty skin for a while before you need to reapply. Water resistance lasts either 40 or 80 minutes. Not all sunscreens offer water resistance.

Remember: Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours or after swimming or drying off.

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie

Are all sunscreens created equally?

According to Consumer Reports, EWG (Environmental Working Group) and other advocates, the answer is a resounding “No!”

Important facts:

  • The common sunscreen additive vitamin A may speed development of skin cancer (Retinyl palmitate)
  • Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies
  • If you avoid sun, check your vitamin D levels
  • In 2011, FDA determined that high SPF claims may be “inherently misleading.”

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie

Avoid Spray Sunscreens!

According to Consumer Reports, use spray sunscreens carefully. The FDA has said it is exploring the risks. Until we know more, experts say to avoid using sprays on children, and do not spray them directly on your face.

The AAD also recommends that in addition to wearing sunscreen, take the following steps to protect your skin and find skin cancer early:

  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements.
  • Avoid tanning beds.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, itching or bleeding on your skin, see a doctor immediately. Skin cancer is treatable when caught early.

Controversy

The EWG’s “Sunscreen Guide for 2016” found 80% of the 1,700 tested sunscreens to be unsafe, ineffective or both. Evolve Medical’s primary care physicians strongly advise readers to choose a product from this list. More detailed information can be found regarding the safety–or potential danger–of certain sunscreen ingredients which the FDA and consumer groups are investigating currently.

For a good list of recommended sunscreens try one of these:

Here is a list of the 7 WORST brands:

  1. Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100**
  2. Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, Wacky Foam, and Sunscreen lotion, SPF 55
  3. CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen and Spray, SPF 55
  4. Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
  5. Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen For Kids, SPF 70
  6. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray and Stick products, SPF 70
  7. Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

What do you do if you find something?

If you have any doubt, see your primary care physician immediately. If you can’t be seen right away, Evolve Medical is happy to see you same day by scheduling here or calling 844-322-4222.

If you find these health and wellness updates helpful, follow Evolve on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+.

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

Evolve Medical provides primary care and urgent care to Annapolis, Severna Park, Arnold, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Edgewater, Pasadena and Glen Burnie.

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Evolve Medical Clinics is Annapolis’ highest rated urgent care and primary care. Designed for busy people tired of long waits and rushed providers. The peaceful, healing atmosphere is designed to reflect their emphasis on patient respect, convenience as well as excellence in care. Evolve sees patients for only $95/visit and they provide all you may need for reimbursement. They also offer an amazing and affordable monthly membership for only $49/mo wherein members receive all their primary and urgent care either free or at heavily discounted prices. Members enjoy virtual visits or in-person with wait times usually less than 10 minutes on the same day. Members can also easily email or text their provider to get results or avoid visits when possible. Evolve also helps patients save money by finding less expensive medications, avoiding unnecessary procedures and tests and improves help by cutting down on the medical errors which are so common elsewhere. Find out why everyone loves Evolve: www.emc4me.com or call 844-322-4222.