Sometimes I hear people explain firewall effectiveness in terms of SPF ratings on sunscreen. I like the concept but it also tempts me to pull out the annual Environmental Working Group (EWG) suncreen hall-of-shame. The EWG offers nuggets of wisdom such as this:
Sky-high SPF products may protect from sunburn, caused primarily by UVB rays, but they leave children vulnerable to skin-damaging UVA rays. Without the warning signal of sunburn, children stay in the sun too long, and UVA damage builds up. Parents who see a high-SPF label on the bottle may think itâ€™s safe to allow their kids hours of sunburn-free beach time, but risks associated with sun exposure begin in childhood and accumulate over a lifetime.
So the next time you tell me the firewall is like 70 SPF, I might ask A or B (e.g. are you just blocking the noise or also the attack). Here’s another good example:
Consumers who shell out the bucks for pricey SPF-labeled moisturizers rarely get the sun protection they expect. There are plenty of sun care products that sell for less than $3 per ounce and offer better sun protection than those that cost up to 90 times more.
This quote is probably my favorite:
The front of a Lavera sunscreen box claims the product is â€œeffective immediatelyâ€ and there is â€œno need to wait.â€ But the side panel warns, â€œapplyâ€¦ 15 minutes before sun exposure.â€ Which is it?
Buyer beware. Don’t judge a firewall by its cover.