Can You Pass the SPF Test? (Hint: Bigger Isn't Always Better)

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Look, we all know that the best day creams and lip balms offer sun protection. That's just basic common sense.

But did you know that not all day creams are really doing their jobs? On a recent trip to the dermatologist, we asked exactly how much SPF we should be getting out of our daily moisturizer; at the time, we were using a great, lightweight lotion that had an SPF factor of 15.

But that wasn't enough, we were told. We needed at least 30. And that goes for the winter months as well as summer.


"Studies show that you receive more ultraviolet rays in the winter than you think, so it is important to use an SPF to protect from sunburn and sun damage," says celebrity skin expert and Beauty Park Spa founder Nurse Jamie, whose clientele includes Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Maria Menounos. "I agree with the American Academy of Dermatology on the use of an SPF 30 for daily protection."

Then again, you don't want to go too crazy with the sun block either.

"I often have patients come in with contact dermatitis and breakouts due to the higher chemicals or minerals used in the more extreme sunscreens and moisturizers, SPF 75 to 100-plus. I also feel these crazy high SPF numbers give people the false sense of invincibility from a sunburn."

So. SPF 30 it is.


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