Nav: Home

Comparing beach umbrella vs. SPF 100 sunscreen to protect beachgoers from sun

January 18, 2017

How did sun protection compare for people who spent 3½ hours on a sunny beach with some under an umbrella and others wearing SPF 100 sunscreen? A new article published online by JAMA Dermatology reports neither method used alone completely prevented sunburn, although the SPF 100 sunscreen was more efficacious in the randomized clinical trial.

Hao Ou-Yang, Ph.D., of Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., Skillman, N.J., and coauthors used actual conditions to monitor the sun protection of a standard beach umbrella compared with the high SPF sunscreen. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is the parent company of Neutrogena Corp. and manufacturer of the sunscreen tested in this study.

Seeking shade is a widely used practice to avoid direct sun exposure. People often assume their skin is fully protected as long as they are under the shade of an umbrella. Few clinical studies have examined the UV protectiveness of a beach umbrella or compared it directly with sunscreen.

The study - conducted over a few days in August 2014 in Lake Lewisville, Texas - included 81 participants, with 41 who used an umbrella and 40 who used SPF 100 sunscreen for protection on a sunny beach at midday. The beachgoers were examined for sunburn on their bodies (face, back of neck, upper chest, arms and legs) about a day after sun exposure.

Authors report 78 percent of participants who were under the shade of a beach umbrella developed sunburn compared with 25 percent of participants who used SPF 100 sunscreen. There were 142 sunburn incidences in the umbrella group and 17 in the sunscreen group, according to this side-by-side study.

Limitations of the study include that only one type of beach umbrella was evaluated.

"Umbrella shade alone may not provide sufficient sun protection during extended exposure to UV rays. Although the SPF 100 sunscreen was more efficacious than the umbrella, neither method alone prevented sunburn completely under actual use conditions, highlighting the importance of using combinations of sun protection practices to optimize protection against UV rays," the article concludes.
-end-
(JAMA Dermatology. Published online January 18, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4922; available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)

Editor's Note: Authors made conflict of interest disclosures, including two who reported being employees of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., the parent company of Neutrogena Corp. and manufacturer of the sunscreen tested in this study. The study was funded in part by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

To place an electronic embedded link in your story: Links will be live at the embargo time: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4922

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Sunscreen Articles:

Natural sunscreen gene influences how we make vitamin D
Genetic variations in the skin can create a natural sunscreen, according to University of Queensland researchers investigating the genes linked with vitamin D.
Study assesses absorption, blood levels of active ingredients in sunscreen
A randomized clinical trial with 48 healthy volunteers assessed the absorption of six active ingredients (avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate) in four sunscreen products formulated as lotion and sprays (aerosol, nonaerosol and pump).
'Flamenco dancing' molecule could lead to better-protecting sunscreen
A molecule that protects plants from overexposure to harmful sunlight thanks to its flamenco-style twist could form the basis for a new longer-lasting sunscreen, chemists at the University of Warwick have found, in collaboration with colleagues in France and Spain.
Sunscreens release metals and nutrients into seawater
Beachgoers are becoming increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects UV filters from sunscreens can have on coral and other marine organisms when the protective lotions wash off their bodies into the ocean.
#BeatEngland, beat sunburn
UV detection stickers trialled by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers at the November 2017 Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, prompted 80% of cricket goers who used the stickers to reapply protective sunscreen.
Pinterest homemade sunscreens: A recipe for sunburn
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Brooks College of Health at University of North Florida examined how homemade sunscreens were portrayed on Pinterest.
Does sunscreen compromise vitamin D levels?
Sunscreen can reduce the sun's adverse effects, but there are concerns that it might inhibit the body's production of vitamin D.
Clinical trial looks at absorption levels of sunscreen active ingredients into bloodstream
The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that active ingredients in sunscreen absorbed into the bloodstream above a certain level undergo toxicology testing.
Sunscreen use could lead to better blood vessel health
A new study suggests that sunscreen protects the skin's blood vessel function from harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure by protecting dilation of the blood vessels.
Sunscreen application has better face coverage than SPF moisturizers
Application of sun protection factor (SPF) moisturizers tends to miss more of the face, especially around the eyelid regions, compared with sunscreen application, according to a study published April 3 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kevin Hamill of the University of Liverpool, and colleagues.
More Sunscreen News and Sunscreen Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Graham
If former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's case for the death of George Floyd goes to trial, there will be this one, controversial legal principle looming over the proceedings: The reasonable officer. In this episode, we explore the origin of the reasonable officer standard, with the case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty with help from Kelly Prime and Annie McEwen. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.