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If you care the least bit about your skin, then you probably apply some sort of sunscreen or sunblock to your skin before going outside, but do you really know what to look for in these products? Did you hesitate there for a second? If so, then you might want to continue reading.

According to a new survey conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, less than 50 percent of the 114 individuals who participated in the survey knew what to look for in the label when it comes to purchasing a sunscreen. For instance, SPF stands for “sun protection factor” yet only 49 percent of the people who participated in the survey knew this.

Furthermore, the majority of participants – 81 percent – were convinced that the higher the protection, the better the protection against sun damage and skin cancer. That’s actually false. It’s not enough for a sunscreen to have a high SPF number. It should also protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays, which will be labeled as “broad spectrum.”

Of course, protecting your skin doesn’t just end at lathering on the sunscreen.

Do You Know Sunscreen Basics?  was originally published on

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