Stretch Your Dollar: SPF 15 vs. SPF 30, and other sunscreen buying tips

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) — Now that pool and beach season is here, you are probably lathering the kids up in sunblock! Before you hand over your money for what looks like the best product to protect your child’s skin, we are stretching your dollar on what to look out for.

Here are three things you may not know:

Consumer Reports says you may think an SPF 30 protects you twice as much as the SPF 15, but that’s not true. The 15 shields you from 93 percent of UVB rays. The 30 blocks you from 97 percent.

Experts recommend you choose a minimum SPF of 30 to keep harmful rays away.

The word “sport” is not government regulated. Don’t buy it just because you or your child will be playing a sport. Look for terms like “water resistant” or “very water resistant” to know how long it will last when you get sweaty.

The term “Dermatologist recommended” is also not regulated by the government. Don’t pay more for that thinking it’s better for your skin.

“Doctor tested or recommended” simply means a physical may have been consulted at one point. There’s really no way of knowing how extensive that testing was and what it was for.

One last thing, Consumer Reports tested sunscreen and found not all sunscreens meet the SPF level that’s printed on the package, so they recommend buying an SPF that’s higher than what you would typically get.

You can also go online to see how they rated different sunscreens so you can make smarter choices this summer.

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