COLUMBIA - The Food and Drug Administration has a new sunscreen label that takes some of the guesswork out of choosing the best protection.
This year the label "broad spectrum" must protect against both UVA and UVB rays. In the past, products labeled "broad spectrum" did not have to protect against UVA rays. UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent and penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays.
UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn and play a prominent role in the development of skin cancer. UVB rays also vary in intensity depending on the season of the year, location and the time of day. UVA rays contribute to skin aging. UVA rays can also contribute to and initiate the development of skin cancer.
One mom said she's very aware of what kind of protection she uses on her children.
"It's very important and I actually do look for the UVA and UVB, that it protects from both of those," said mother of three children, Alyse Monsee. "And in my opinion we really don't use anything less than 30 usually it's at least 50."
Experts recommend you protect against both UVA and UVB rays. They also suggest using an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, of at least 15. An SPF of 15 means it will take 15 times longer for skin to redden than if you did not use it.