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There’s a wide spectrum of opinions when it comes to proper sunscreen practices. A recent survey published in Cutis put doubts and debates on sunscreen to rest with a series of conclusive assessments on how to effectively protect our skin from sunburn.

When it comes to SPF, 50 percent of dermatologists recommend SPF 30, 26 percent suggest wearing SPF 50, and 21 percent are partial to SPF 50+. Only 2 percent recommend SPF 15. Another survey found that 97 percent of dermatologists are “comfortable” suggesting SPF 50 or SPF 50+, and approximately 83 percent consider a high-number SPF to give “an additional margin of safety.” According to Michelle Tarbox, MD, sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin from the sun: “Sunscreen can be a meaningful part of your sun-protection regimen used in conjunction with sun-protective clothing, sun safe behaviors, and a diet rich in natural antioxidants,” she said.

Spray sunscreen has become enormously popular over the last several years, and dermatologists consider it to be just as effective as the lotion form. Sprays can get to hard-to-reach places, and approximately 66 percent of dermatologists say that spray sunscreen is ideal for people who are sunbathing alone and 62 recommend it for bald spots.  

Vitamin D3 is an essential supplement when using sunscreen, and 53 percent of dermatologists recommend vitamin D3, as sunscreen can diminish vitamin D levels.

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