Test Your Sunscreen Knowledge

Test Your Sunscreen Knowledge

Whether you're at the beach, the pool or gardening in your backyard, you need to protect your skin from the sun. 

To test your sun protection knowledge, check out the True or False quiz below: 

True or False: Two kinds of rays we receive from the sun are UVB and UVA. 
TRUE: UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer; UVA rays cause early wrinkling and skin cancer.

True or False: SPF stands for Sun Performance Filters.
FALSE: SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Simply put, protection is measured as the SPF level of the sunscreen, multiplied by the time if takes you to burn without sunscreen. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 15 will delay the onset of sunburn up to 150 minutes in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes.

True or False: You have to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 50 to prevent sunburn.
FALSE: SPF 30 blocked 96% of UVB rays. In contrast, SPF 50 may only block another 1%. For sunscreen to be effective, be sure to apply it 20 minutes before going outdoors, and then reapply it every 2 hours and after sweating or swimming.

True or False: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two ingredients that have been proven safe for sunscreens. 
TRUE: These are both natural elements that block harmful sun rays. Zinc oxide is the broadest spectrum UVA and UVB reflector approved for use as a sunscreen by the FDA. However, it’s important to note that research has shown that these ingredients aren’t safe in spray or pump sunscreens because they can be harmful if inhaled

True or False: UV rays from sunlight have little to no effect on premature skin aging.
FALSE: Sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging. Without protection from the sun’s rays, daily exposure over time causes noticeable changes to the skin including freckles, age spots, broken capillaries, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, and skin cancer.

Dermatologists recommend comprehensive sun protection to prevent premature aging caused by the sun. This includes:

  • Avoiding deliberate tanning, including use of indoor tanning devices
  • Staying out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Wearing protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves
  • Applying sunscreen year-round


Updated May 3, 2017

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