How to Properly Read a Sunscreen Label

According to studies, many people don’t know how to read the label on a bottle of sunscreen, and, also, they don’t realize how a sunscreen works. For instance, less than fifty-percent of those involved in the study knew what SPF meant. So, knowing that, it’s time to discuss sunscreen basics; here are a few of the most important things you’ll find written on a bottle of sunscreen, and how those things relate positively for your skin’s health.

Broad Spectrum 

This is a term found on most sunscreens. It means that the sunscreen is formulated to protect your skin against both ultraviolet A rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet B rays (UVB). The UVA rays penetrate the skin, and are the leading cause of sun-damage related wrinkles. The UVB rays don’t quite penetrate the surface of the skin as far, but they do cause the surface of the skin to burn. And both UVA and UVB rays are known to cause cancer.


Sun Protection Factor. This is the measurement for how long a person can remain in the sun, protected by sunscreen, and remain safe from the harmful UVB rays. So, when you look at the rating on the sides of several different bottles of sunscreen, and you see a gamut of numbers—usually 15, 30, 50, etc.—that number is the protection limits for each particular sunscreen. It’s recommended that a person use a sunscreen with a 30 and over SPF rating when they plan to spend time outside, doing an activity. But no matter how strong the sunscreen, it’s recommended that a person reapply it after he or she has sweated or swam.

Water Resistant 

Some sunscreens may be formulated to withstand some water; some sunscreens are more effective while a person is sweating or swimming. But unfortunately, there are no waterproof sunscreens, and whenever a person plans to swim or sweat, they should reapply the sunscreen frequently.
If you have any questions about the right sunscreen for you, then come in and speak with the experts at Central Wellness.