The SPF is lower than 30
With sunscreen, the number matters. “An SPF less than 30 doesn’t afford you the level of sun protection that you need,” says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, and President and Co-Founder of Modern Dermatology. Higher is also important because you’re unlikely to apply the sunscreen well enough to reach full protection. “The average person applies 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen,” says Adrienne Haughton, MD, director of clinical and cosmetic dermatologist at Stony Brook Medicine at Commack in New York. “In one study, patients applying what they perceived as an adequate amount of sunscreen labeled SPF of 70 and 100 provided an actual SPF of 19 and 27 percent respectively.”
It’s a combination product
If you think you’ll save time by applying a combo product with sunscreen and bug repellent or sunscreen and moisturizing lotion, you may be doing more harm than good. “Insect repellent should not be applied as often as sunscreen,” says Hari Nadiminti, MD, chairman of dermatology at Summit Medical Group and Mohs micrographic surgeon at Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center in New Jersey. Use separate products for each. Here are 10 more sunscreen myths that make dermatologists cringe.