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, 9 (6), 242-4

Sunbathers' Application of Sunscreen Is Probably Inadequate to Obtain the Sun Protection Factor Assigned to the Preparation

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  • PMID: 1343224

Sunbathers' Application of Sunscreen Is Probably Inadequate to Obtain the Sun Protection Factor Assigned to the Preparation

N Bech-Thomsen et al. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed.

Abstract

The sun protection factor (SPF) is a ratio that estimates the protective efficacy of a sunscreen against sunburn. The generally accepted methods used to determine the SPF of a sunscreen require that the formulation be applied in a thickness of 1.5 mg/cm2 (Deutsches Institut für Normung) or 2 mg/cm2 (US Food and Drug Administration). The applied thickness of a sunscreen is important for the degree of photoprotection. Forty-two volunteers on a beach applied their own sunscreen all over the body. The amount of the applied sunscreen was on average 0.5 mg/cm2. This indicates that the labelled SPF is probably considerably higher than the obtained degree of protection against sunburn.

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