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Sunscreen: Are You Really Covered?

What's true, and what's not, about sunscreen and SPF.

Sunscreen: True or False continued...

"You still get enough sun to make plenty of vitamin D through the sunscreen," says Brett Coldiron, MD, a dermatologist at the University of Cincinnati.

It can be harder to make vitamin D during the winter or when you're older. But you can still get vitamin D from fortified foods or supplements. The Institute of Medicine recommends that most adults get 600 IUs of vitamin D a day. Some people may need more, so check with your health care provider.

8. Sunscreen with antioxidants provides better UVA/UVB protection.

TRUE. While they aren't active sunscreen ingredients, antioxidants are great SPF supplements. Sunscreen alone does not block all of the damaging rays from the sun -- even an SPF of 50 blocks out only 98% of UV rays. "Antioxidants are a good way to catch the UV radiation that 'sneaks' past the sunscreen," Gohara says. Sunscreens infused with antioxidants, such as skin-loving green tea extract or polyphenols from tomatoes and berries, are proven to reduce the formation of free radicals (small chemical particles that wreak havoc on skin and can cause skin cancer) in the presence of UV light.

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