What to know before buying sunscreen based off its SPF

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(ABC 6 News) – If you go to the store, you might see dozens of different types of sunscreens. Between SPF 30 and 70, you might think there’s a big difference. That’s not the case.

Jennifer Sanneman, an aesthetics specialist at Essence Skin Clinic in Rochester says the sunscreens with the higher SPF’s only protect your skin two percent more. It also means you’re not protected longer by picking the one with the higher SPF.

“One of the most important organs that we have is our skin,” said Sanneman.

“People don’t consider that an organ. Just as you wouldn’t take your heart out and set it in the sun. People do that with skin.”

Something else you might not know is that your body has two different sunscreen blocks. A chemical block, where you need to apply at least 20 minutes before you head outside. Then there’s a physical block that protects the outer layers of your skin. For physical blockage, you want to reapply sunscreen as soon as you get outside.

There is also no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. Some bottles are labeled as “water resistance” which means it’s made so it’s harder for it to wash off. Typically, water resistance sunscreen last about 40 minutes. Remember, no matter the type of sunscreen you pick, once the damage is done, it’s hard to go back.

“They recognize they have done some damage to their skin and they want to be able to correct it. We can only correct it so much.

“The sun damage is permanent but we can help to improve it but you can’t correct sun damage.”

There are several medications you can take for sun damage if you do not want to go a surgical route like getting laser therapy.