For years, we’ve chosen our sunscreen based on the SPF level on the label – 15, 30, even 90.
“I usually just go for the number, the highest number that I see on the shelf,” says shopper Lauren Justus.
But, this summer, you’re going to start to see the phrase “broad spectrum” added to those bottles.
“Broad spectrum means coverage for all rays of light that touch you – UVA and UVB,” according to dermatologist Jennifer Lucas.
One ray of light burns us, the other causes premature aging. The new language will tell you if the lotion protects against both kinds of damage.
“I think it’s going to make things a lot easier for us as consumers purchasing sunscreen,” she said.
In 2011, the FDA challenged sunscreen companies about the claims they make on their labels. According to ABC News , the FDA now requires a "test method to demonstrate that a sunscreen product provides 'broad spectrum' protection, which is protection against both UVB and UVA radiation."
The agency has given sunscreen companies until December to update their labels.
“I’m open to buying whatever’s new and better,” Justus said.
One thing you shouldn’t forget – you need more sunscreen to protect your skin than you might think. Most experts agree a golf ball sized amount should do it.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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