If people wish to prevent sunburn and the risk of skin cancer, they should slap on the SPF 30. So says Dr Ike Iheanacho, editor of the influential Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB).
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) published guidance in January saying people should wear broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreens with a minimum SPF 15 . However, this level of SPF is too low and not based on how people actually use sun creams, says an editorial in the DTB.
‘Factor 15 offers all-day protection only if it is applied thickly, at a thickness of 2mg/cm2 used by manufacturers as the standard test for SPF. In reality, people using sunscreens typically apply much less than this and get no more than half, at best, of the protection indicated by the labelled SPF.’
Bottom line- don’t risk it! Stick to SPF 30 to be on the safe side. Not to mention the anti-aging effect of proper sun protection.