Ban the Rays with Coppertone

Wednesday, August 01, 2007
By Abbey Khan

We know that you’ve been enjoying the sun this summer, but hopefully not without sunscreen. If you’re confused about SPF, how much sunscreen to use, or when to use it, the experts at Coppertone are here to answer all your questions.

FUSN: How much sunscreen should we really apply?
CT: A shot glass sized amount of sunscreen should be applied before going outdoors and every two hours thereafter, or after vigorous activity (swimming, running, sweating).

FUSN: You have so many options, which we love, but most of us don’t want to carry a boatload to the beach, so which sunscreens can be used on both the face and body?
CT: We recommend COPPERTONE Oil Free QuickCover Lotion Spray Sunscreen. It offers pure and simple sun protection, and it’s oil-free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic. It also combines the convenience of continuous spray with all the benefits of a lotion. Just spray the lotion onto your hands and apply to the face.


FUSN: How much SPF do we really need? Does the higher number mean better?
CT: SPF is the protection level determined by testing the product’s ability to prevent sunburn (caused primarily by UVB and short UVA rays) on human skin but does not differentiate the level of UVA protection. In general, higher SPF products provide more overall protection from both short and long-term consequences of sun damage. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer. Our exposure to UVA is more constant than UVB because we encounter UVA rays no matter what the season or time of day.

FUSN: What body parts are overlooked when applying sunscreen, but still necessary?
CT: Ears, back of the neck, tops of feet are areas that are often overlooked when applying sunscreen.

FUSN: If I don’t use all my sunscreen this summer, is it still good for next summer or will it go bad?
CT: Certain factors (for example, variable storage conditions) may affect a product’s aesthetic qualities over time. The sunscreen’s active ingredients in the products, which provide the sun protection factors (SPF), remain intact for many years after manufacture. We advise consumers to discard product that has passed its expiration date, and also to discard any product (sunscreen or other) which appears to have changed in color, have an off odor or to have separated. The best advice is “when in doubt, throw it out.”

FUSN: There are so many sunscreens out there, how do I know which one is right for me?
CT: There are three factors to effective sun protection: blocking both UVA and UVB rays; using a product that maintains protection against sun, water, and sweat; and applying it correctly. When looking for a sunscreen, consumers should look for a product that has high SPF, that offers durable broad-spectrum protection, and a form that is easy to use.

FUSN: What ingredients should I look for when choosing a sunscreen to get full protection?
CT: Consumers should look for products containing either zinc oxide or avobenzone, gold-standard ingredients in broad spectrum UVA protection.

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