These days, consumers have to thoroughly analyze and understand how the ingredients of their sunscreen work if they want full skin protection, according to experts who say sunscreen labels are confusing. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration is currently working on new label regulations for sunscreen bottles. In the meantime, here’s information every savvy consumer should know.

  • Look for key ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide or ecamsule. Sunscreens that say “broad-spectrum” should contain most of these ingredients, which block out ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.
  • A sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 doesn’t mean you can bask in the sun 15 times longer without risking any skin damage. It means skin that isn’t covered with that SPF will burn 15 times faster.
  • There’s no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. All sunscreens come off from washing, rubbing or sweating.
  • Talk to your doctor before using sunscreen on a child younger than 6 months.

Read about more ways to protect your skin here.