The Zoomer Report: Sunscreen Rules

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.

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ Stefano Casola

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Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report
Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.