High factor sunscreen cuts your risk of skin cancer by a THIRD
High factor sunscreen can cut your risk of melanoma skin cancer by 33 per cent, a 10-year study has revealed.
Regardless of your skin tone, or your propensity to burn, the research shows we should all be reaching for SPF 30 or above.
The findings follow another study that found half of the most popular sunscreen brands do not meet the basic criteria outlined by the American Academy of Dermatology.
It comes amid a recent surge in melanoma diagnoses.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body, unlike basal cell carcinoma which rarely leaves the site.
Studying 14,000 women for 10 years, researchers at the University of Oslo found that participants who wore at least SPF 15 cut their risk of developing cancer by a third.
Intriguingly, there was some conflicting evidence: some people who never applied sunscreen had a lower risk of skin cancer than those who wore low-factor sunscreen.
The researchers offered two main reasons for this paradox.
Firstly, they believe many people apply sunscreen incorrectly.
Most participants were not accustomed to reapplying sunscreen every couple of hours, as dermatologists advise worldwide.
Secondly, those who apply sunscreen normally do so in order to prolong their time in the sun.
No sunscreen, regardless of how high the factor, can give 100 per cent protection.
'Some people use sunscreen to prolong sun exposure and acquire suntan,' Dr Reza Ghiasvand, who led the research, said.
'Moreover, many people don't apply the proper amount of sunscreen, forget to reapply and missed to apply on all exposed areas resulting in sunburn and increased risk of melanoma.'