The sun is finally out. You soak in every ray of that warm glowing ball in the sky that you can. But, not without your sunscreen on, right?

The health community along with media have done a wonderful job instilling in us that sunshine = skin cancer. They have scared us into heading to the store, picking out a nice and high SPF number because the bigger the number, the better protection. Or is it?

Oh, and how about the bottle with the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval? Sold!

But, is there a cap to the benefits you receive from purchasing a higher SPF number? And how important is that marvelous Skin Cancer Foundation seal? What about generics versus name brand?

Well, as many things in life, it’s all about the marketing.  Sunscreen is $1.3 billion industry, according to market research company IBISWorld. With that comes competition and a whole ‘lotta marketing dollars thrown into the mix to grab your attention.

In the July 2013 issue of Consumer Reports, 12 top market brands were studied. Guess who ranked in the top? Target (Up & Up) and Wal-Mart (Equate). Some of the least expensive.

Additionally, you don’t need a crazy high SPF rating. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98%.

And what about that Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval? Marketers are paying upwards of $10,000 to become a member of the organization in order to receive this endorsement. A bit deceptive, eh?

Like with any product, do your research. There are plenty of resources out there that can give further insight into what type of sunscreen works best for you and your budget. Here are a couple to get you started:

So slather on that sunscreen (regardless of brand), grab a cool one, and enjoy your sunburn-free summer!

 

 

 

 

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