"Confused by SPF? Take a Number"

"Last year, Coppertone rolled out two easy-to-use sprays with its highest-ever sun protection factor: SPF 70+. Not to be outdone, Neutrogena offered its Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch lotion in SPF 85 strength, that year's big gun. ...

But now, SPF creep has hit the triple digits with Neutrogena's SPF 100+ sunblock, leading some dermatologists to complain that this is merely a numbers game that confuses consumers.

The parade of stratospheric SPFs is 'crazy,' said Dr. Barbara A. Gilchrest, a dermatology professor at Boston University School of Medicine. 'For a normal person who is fair-skinned and concerned about skin damage and photoaging,' Dr. Gilchrest said, 'it's really in my opinion tremendous overkill.'"

Catherine Saint Louis reports for the New York Times May 13, 2009.


Source: NYTimes, 05/15/2009