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What sunscreen is best to use? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

What sunscreen is best to use?

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Beach and sun tanning season is on its way and although doctors say you should use it year-round, it's also sunscreen season.

But what sunscreen is the best to use? Should I spray it on or smear it? And how much SPF do I need? It all can be confusing.

"The number I go for, don’t know where I got it, is 35 or above...I know anything mineral based is better for you," said Stephanie Pentoliros, sunscreen user.

Turns out Pentoliros is kind of half right. Let's set the record straight by debunking some sunscreen myths.

First is the belief that the Food and Drug Administration tests sunscreens before they're sold.

"The FDA doesn’t test sunscreens at all. It depends on what the manufacturer claims and that's basically it," said Dr. Bruce Katz from the Juva Skin and Laser Center.

What about those Sun Protection Factor numbers? Really high numbers must mean much more protection.

"As long as you have an SPF of 30, you're fine. You're protected very well. Anything higher than that is purely marketing," said Dr. Katz.

In fact you could go all the way to SPF 100 and only get an extra percentage point or two more protection.

What about "natural" sunscreens?

Turns out the term natural aren’t regulated by the FDA and so it's basically meaningless on a sunscreen label.

What about spray on sunscreens providing better coverage?

"Spray sunscreens are fine as long as you don't inhale them and also after you apply them, you spread them around, so they’re evenly distributed," said Dr. Katz.

In other words, you should spread sprays around the same way you would a cream or lotion sunscreen.

But by far the biggest recent myth is a new product being touted as "drinkable" sunscreen...something about making water molecules in the skin vibrate to block ultraviolet rays.

"Drinkable sunscreens are really nonsense. There are all sorts of marketing schemes to sell sunscreens. This by far is the wildest, said Dr. Katz.

Probably the most important thing to remember about sunscreen is to use it early, often and liberally. This means putting it on 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Use about a shot glass full for a full body application and re-apply every couple of hours or sooner if you're sweating or swimming.

Click here for more information on sunscreen and skincare.

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