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Pick Your Sun Protection

Tips for finding a sunscreen formula that fits your lifestyle.


Watch for ratings for UVA; they may appear on sunscreen packaging as soon as this summer. Current labels don't tell you how effective the ingredients are against UVA. But the FDA is currently considering regulations for sunscreens based on rules proposed in 2007. These will probably include a UVA star-rating system designating sunscreen protection as low, medium, high, and highest, with one to four stars.

Count the pluses — for now. Several sunscreens use the Japanese UVA rating on products sold in the U.S. This system designates a +, ++, or +++ to indicate lowest to highest UVA protection. Try Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face SPF 50 Sunscreen PA+++ ($30, department stores).

Originally published on April 22, 2009

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