WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Last year the FDA made new rules for sunscreen makers. But an extension on compliance means many sunscreens still boast protections that may not be enough. We checked with a dermatologist to find out what you should be looking for before soaking in some rays.
Jonathan Kelly and his daughter know what to take when they spend a day at Wrightsville Beach.
“A lot of sunscreen, and she usually wears a long-sleeve shirt, sometimes a hat when it will stay on,” dad said.
Experts say he’s making good choices, because many sunscreen advertisements are false. Companies were supposed to roll out new labels reflecting true statements, but now they’ll have until December to make the changes.
“Basically it will say broad spectrum, and basically what that means is it’s been tested for both UVB and UVA,” Dr Rosaylyn George, a Wilmington dermatologist, said of the new packaging. “Your SPF only tells you what the UVB protection was. Now they have to test for UVA as well. The other change you’ll see is how many minutes it’s good for in the water, so it will say 40 minutes or 80 minutes rather than waterproof or water resistant.”
A fail-proof, sun-proof option for kids and adults are Rash Guard shirts. It offers a universal protection factor, or UPF, because most parents are not applying enough lotion.
“Usually once in the morning, once at lunch if we come in and once in the afternoon,” Kelly said of the sunscreen he puts on his daughter.
Experts say that’s not enough. The amount of sun screen you really need would fill a shot glass. Applying sunscreen correctly can get expensive. A standard four-ounce bottle of sunscreen would only give you four applications.