Section: Barnabas Health News

Which SPF do I need? A Message from Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy


Selecting a good sunscreen is important in protecting the skin. According to the American Melanoma Foundation, the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) refers to a product's ability to block out the sun's harmful rays. An SPF of 15 typically means that you can be in the sun without sunscreen 15 times longer before getting sunburn than you can without protection. However, SPF protection does not increase exponentially as the SPF number on the label goes up. For example, an SPF of 15 will absorb 93 percent of ultraviolet radiation, while an SPF of 34 will absorb 97 percent and an SPF of 50 keeps out 98 percent.

While a sunscreen with SPF of 20 to 30 offers substantial protection against sunburns, and usually prevents tanning, it's also important to choose a product that has "board spectrum" on its label. This means the sunscreen filters out ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation exposure. Regardless to the product you choose, remember to apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors to give it time to absorb into the skin and plan to reapply every two hours, after being in the water, exercising and/or sweating.

For more information about protecting your skin from the sun, consider talking to your local pharmacist. Pharmacists at Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacies at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Clara Maass Medical Center, Jersey City Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center are available, are also available to answer any questions you may have. To speak to a pharmacist at any of these locations, please call:

  • Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center: 973-322-7315
  • Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Clara Maass Medical Center: 973-450-2281
  • Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Jersey City Medical Center: 201-915-2166
  • Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Monmouth Medical Center: 732-923-6111
  • Barnabas Health Retail Pharmacy at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center: 973-926-7422
Categories: Press Releases