True or false? An SPF of 100 protects you twice as long as SPF 50. The answer is a resounding false, with the difference between the two being so little it can be considered negligible.
This is the issue that watchdog organizations such as the Environmental Working Group are hoping to make public on the coattails of the US Food and Drug Administration's recent update of federal requirements for sunscreen. The push, which was put into place last year, bans terms such as "waterproof" from sunscreen bottles, as well as enforces that formulas block both UVA and UVB rays. Consumer groups are now arguing that high SPF numbers are just as misleading and dangerous as terms like waterproof.
"The high SPF numbers are just a gimmick," Marianne Berwick, professor of epidemiology at the University of New Mexico, told the Associated Press. "Most people don't really need more than an SPF 30, and they should reapply it every couple of hours." High SPF numbers, on the other hand, lead consumers to believe that they can spend more time in the sun without reapplying. Find out the truth about SPF numbers when you keep reading.