Is higher SPF better? Not exactly….A SPF 15 blocks out 93% of the rays from the sun, whereas 30 SPF blocks 97% and 50 SPF blocks 98%...The higher SPF blocks out only slightly more rays, but seemingly not enough to make a difference when evaluated against the increase in potential toxins and price of the higher SPF. A study done in Europe comparing SPF 12 (correctly applied) to SPF 40 shows that the SPF 12 was applied more often thereby increasing the protection. Reapplying sunscreen more often appears to be the key to achieving the best protection.
The sun has actually been placed on a list of carcinogens by the government. Sunscreen has been shown to decrease the effect of the carcinogen UVR (ultraviolent radiation). However the breeding ground for cancer appears to be free radicals. Certain nutritional supplements such as Vitamin C and E can potentially fight the formation of free radicals in the body.
The major risk factor for skin cancer may in fact be heredity. In addition to heredity, there is also a correlation between chronic lifetime exposure and increased risk. However, there also seems to be a correlation between the increased use of sunscreen and an increased incidence of cancer. Although this sounds odd, research has shown that an increase in the use of sunscreen during intentional exposure increases the risk of melanoma, which is the most dangerous and harmful of skin cancers. A double blind study done in Europe shows that sunscreen use tends to increase the duration of intentional sun exposure, perhaps by giving us a false sense of security. This means that people who use sunscreen while sunbathing and playing on the beach are getting more sun than those not using sunscreen and staying out of the sun!
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