Saving Skin With Sunscreen - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Saving Skin With Sunscreen

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - It's finally here: warm weather and sunshine. As you head out to soak it all in, you'll still need to cover up to protect against what the sun is dishing out from above. But, how are people using sunscreen, and are they using enough?

"Not yet, I'm going to though," said Josh Wick when asked if he used sun block on Sunday in Rehoboth Beach.

Our informal survey found mixed reviews on sunscreen use, but when it comes to protecting against UV rays, there's only one right answer.

"You have to. Even my little baby's wearing sun block," said Staci Butzer, holding 4-month-old Addison.

So how much is enough?

"A dime-size," Butzer guessed, which came up a little short.

"Maybe an ounce or two," Wick correctly suggested.

One ounce per person every two hours. That's about the size of a shot glass or two table spoons. And according to a consumer Reports survey, only half used what was needed.

"Wow, that's crazy," said Stacy Harvey, a mom of three.

It's an expense that could add up. Harvey brought along a four ounce bottle for her children. She would need another bottle to cover all her kids after a few hours if she followed the guidelines.

"These are probably five bucks," she said.

Using less than that means less protection guaranteed on the bottle. But doubling up doesn't add anything extra. And using an SPF of 100 only adds a tiny bit more than the 50.

"Oh really, that's crazy," Butzer said. "I thought the higher the better."

According to consumer reports, there's only a one percent protection difference between the two.

Experts say a better way to stay out of the harmful rays is to wear hats, stay under umbrellas, and wear shirts to cover up - the darker the better. If you can see through it, the sun rays can get through as well.

And the Consumer Reports study also found a decline in SPF protection in some brands after getting in the water. So instead of gambling on getting burned this summer, slather it on.

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