06 August 2008

The SPF you need depends on your skin type.

Most of us can manage with an SPF 15, and it doesn't make much of a difference if you go for higher factor numbers. The American Association of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that a "broad spectrum" sunblock with an SPF of at least 15 that is applied daily to all sun exposed areas, then reapplied every two hours.

However, in some recent clinical trials, sunblocks with SPF 30 provided significantly better protection than sunblocks with SPF15. Therefore at UCSF, we recommend sunblocks with SPF of at least 30 with frequent reapplication.

Even the highest SPF broad spectrum sunscreen cannot fully protect against UVA and UVB rays. This is why people should cover up and stay in the shade at the hottest times of the day (11am-3pm).

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