Sunscreen: Which One Should You Be Using?

Read the labels in order to protect yourself from skin cancer. 

Posted: 07/10/2013 12:07 PM EDT

How to read sunscreen labels…it’s a question that not enough people ask, particularly African Americans, who often incorrectly believe that because of darker complexions, they are naturally protected from sun dangers.

What are the words you need to focus on when choosing the best sunscreen for yourself and your family?

The Food and Drug Administration has recently established new sunscreen labeling requirements in an effort to help people better understanding the products they’re using.

Some of the changes are:

—Sunscreens under SPF 15 must carry a warning saying they protect against sunburn but not skin cancer or skin aging.

—The “water resistant” label on sunscreens only applies for 40 to 80 minutes of swimming or sweating.

— “Broad spectrum” on a label means it protects against both UV-A and B rays.

—No sunscreen can claim to be waterproof or sweat-proof.

Dermatologists say that these changes will help consumers use sunscreen products more effectively.

Another doctor tip: The common rule of thumb is that you should apply a shot glass size amount of sunscreen to cover the whole body, and that amount should be reapplied every two hours.

Read more about what to look for in a sunscreen at BlackDoctor.org.

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 (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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