Greater efficacy of SPF 100+ sunscreen compared with SPF 50+ in sunburn prevention during 5 consecutive days of sunlight exposure: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial

Indermeet Kohli, Cynthia L. Nicholson, Joshua D. Williams, Alexis B. Lyons, In Seok Seo, Prithwiraj Maitra, Xiaoyan Tian, Evren Atillasoy, Henry W. Lim, Iltefat H. Hamzavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Beach vacations are high-risk settings for overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Objective: To compare the sunburn protective efficacy of SPF 50+ and SPF 100+ sunscreens under actual use at the beach. Methods: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, single-center, split-body/face study of 55 healthy individuals. Each participant applied both sunscreens to randomized sides of the face/body for up to 5 consecutive days. Blinded clinical evaluation of erythema by a single grader and objective instrumental assessments, colorimetry, and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy were performed the morning after each sun exposure. Results: After 5 days, 31 (56%) participants had more sunburn on the SPF 50+ side compared to 4 (7%) on the SPF 100+ side. Overall, mean erythema intensity showed statistically significantly less erythema on the SPF 100+ side compared with the SPF 50+ side. The first observation of sunburn exclusively on the SPF 50+ side occurred after 1 day of sun exposure, whereas that for SPF 100+ occurred after 3 days of sun exposure. Limitations: Only initial sunscreen application was monitored, only 1 participant with skin phototype I was recruited, and participants were recruited from a local beach area. Conclusion: SPF 100+ was significantly more effective in protecting against ultraviolet radiation–induced erythema and sunburn than SPF 50+ in actual use in a beach vacation setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-877
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. The funding source was involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Funding Information:
Supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. The funding source was involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Keywords

  • beach
  • clinical research
  • general dermatology
  • medical dermatology
  • prevention
  • SPF
  • sun protection factor
  • sunlight
  • sunscreen
  • vacation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

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