Summer Safety Series: How to pick the right sunscreen - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Summer Safety Series: How to pick the right sunscreen

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Walk in any grocery store or drugstore this time of year and you'll probably notice sunscreen on sale front and center. With so many different options, how do you know which one is best for you and your family?

"If you get a sunburn, one bad sunburn, you increase your ability or the incident of getting melanoma by 30 times over someone who's not had a bad sunburn," Dr. Howard Zaren, Surgical Oncologist at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St. Joseph's Candler said.

The facts are simple. If you want to be in the sun, you have to protect yourself.

Dr. Zaren said the first thing to when picking out a sunscreen is make sure it offers full protection.

"You need to use sunblock that protects against both A and B rays," he said.

WTOC spoke with a few beach goers who said they look for the products with the easiest application.

"I like the lotion for faces. I like the spray for everywhere else because it's convenient," Shari Givens said.

"I like the spray because it sticks a little bit better, but I like the lotion for my face," Odalys Burkhart said.

But, when it comes to price, are you really getting the most bang for your buck?

Dr. Zaren says SPF 15 keeps you covered from about 98 percent of sun exposure.

"You don't have to spend a lot of money to do it, but you have to block both A and B rays and you have to apply it often."

According to Consumer Reports, Dr. Zaren's advice is absolutely correct. Their latest report found more expensive sunscreens do not necessarily protect better than the cheaper brands. In fact, the top two sunscreens weren't even name brand, but instead from Target and Walmart.

Givens found this to be great news.

"As far as brand, I'm glad to hear that because I do buy the Target or Walmart brands. I think they're just as effective, I don't know why they wouldn't be."

Zach Phillips, a pharmacist at LoCost Pharmacy, also warned against being fooled by high SPF numbers.

"The SPF has been kind of a marketing game for a while now. If you're looking for SPF 100 you're probably paying more than you should be for something that's not doing what you think it's going to do."

In fact, Phillips said even anything over 50 is questionable.

"Once you get over 40 it's really a toss up for what it's doing for you."

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