StyleWatch Editors Want to Know: What's Your SPF?

04/25/2007 at 01:00 PM ET

As summer approaches, our thoughts turn to picnics, long days at the beach, road trips — and wearing the right SPF.  From our tinted moisturizer to the heavy duty creams that come out for full days soaking up rays, we have a whole range of SPF products shoved into our bulging bathroom shelves.  With sunny months ahead, we want to know what SPF you’re wearing (and hopefully reapplying like Penelope Cruz does!). Tell us: What SPF do you wear during the summer? Do you switch around depending on your activities and expected sun exposure? 

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Photo: PICTURES BART/LFI

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Showing 57 comments

Amber on

I always wear SPF 45-55 when out on the beach and at least sPF 15 during the day normally. I’m very fair skinned with freckles and have had one too many sunburns in my lifetime. Also, I don’t buy into the SPF 30 is the max sun protection factor because if it that was true no company would spend the time or money to manufacture those products. For me, the higher the SPF, the better!

Mary on

I’m guessing that I am the only person responding who never wears sunscreen. I am simply allergic to the main ingredients of sunscreen. Luckily, being Southeast Asian, I have darker skin so it is hard for me to burn (only happened once in my entire lifetime).

AnnieM on

15 at least!

Jennifer on

I wear sunblock not sunscreen, and I use my 3 year old’s SPF55 Aveeno Baby which actually leaves a white protective layer. I can get brown from a bottle with ten minutes and ten dollars now at 29, but I won’t be able to get young skin that easily when I’m 50. And it’s not just about the wrinkles, I don’t go brown at any SPF, only red, so it’s better to just avoid the sun altogether. That’s why I live in Chicago!

FH on

Amber, the point is that the company will put 45 or more on the label, but the actual ingredients are no more effective than a 30, which what I was told by a dermatologist is the really the highest level of effectiveness you can get from any sunblock. It can say SPF 250, but its still SPF 30.

The ‘broad spectrum’ thing is true. Meaning it blocks UVA and UVB rays. That is something you want to make sure you purchase. For the girl who claimed she burned on a 30 but doesn’t on a 45, it may be that the 45 was broad spectrum and the 30 wasn’t, or she didn’t apply it often enough.

jackie o. on

Jackie O., 23, Buffalo NY

I try to use 45 on my face, chest, and hands (places that will show age signs the most) and 15 or 30 everywhere else. Although, being from Buffalo, there’s not much time spent out in the sun…

And to Sarah, congratulations, that’s a tough one to beat. Best wishes to you as well!

DesperateHousewivesFan on

Ummmm 15, or 5. I love getting tans.

Ava on

I’m a pale redhead so sunscreen is a must! SPF 30 at minimun but I prefer SPF 45 for strong sun when I’m on vacation. Neutrogena makes a great spray on sunscreen but Coppertone is best for sports and activities, even on my face!

leslie on

Why does Penelope have a wedgie? No thong bathing suits around?

Melissa K. on

Melissa K., 27, Seattle WA

I have very fair skin with freckles, therefore I wear a high SPF sunblock. The product that I love to use is Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock in SPF 45. It protects broad spectrum uva-uvb rays, and the best thing about it is that you just spray it on until it is visable on your skin and then you are done! It dries quick and you don’t have to rub it in and get your hands greasy. They also make it in SPF 30 for those that don’t prefer the higher SPF.

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