Few things are better than spending the day at the beach on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, the sun is no friend to our skins, as anyone who has been badly burned can attest. In fact, recent research has demonstrated a conclusive link to over-exposure to the sun and skin cancer. It is not surprising, then, that many consumers look for products offering effective sun protection when they plan on spending a lot of time outside.
One of the ways consumers judge the effectiveness of sunscreen is by relying on the “SPF” (short for sun protection factor) of a sunscreen. SPF is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sun block — the higher the number, the more a consumer is protected from the sun. The specific number represents the amount of time a user can stay in the sun before being burned, as compared to the amount of time it takes to get a sunburn without protection. So if a person can stay out for 15 minutes without burning, then a SPF of 8 allows for 2 hours without burning.
According to the FDA and responsible scientists, the highest effective SPF factor is 50 – no known cream or topically applied product can offer better protection. Unfortunately, that has not stopped irresponsible marketers from claiming to offer higher protection. For example, Neutrogena offers a wide array of sun blocks with SPFs higher than 50, including the Spectrum+, Ultimate and Ultra Sheer products that offer up to 100 and 110 SPF. Not surprisingly, these high SPF products are significantly more expensive than comparable brands, even though, as a matter of scientific fact, they are no more effective at blocking damaging sun rays than a more affordable SPF 50 product.
Meiselman, Packman, Carton & Eberz, P.C. is investigating whether Neutrogena is deceiving consumers as to the effectiveness of its sunscreens. If you or someone you know purchased a Neutrogena sunscreen with a SPF over 50, or any other sunscreen with such a high SPF, please contact us to discuss your legal options.