Over the last few decades, public awareness of the dangers of sun exposure has grown exponentially. 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, Johnson & Johnson offers an array of sun blocks in its “Aveeno SPF 70-100+” line with SPFs much higher than 50. Not surprisingly, these high SPF products are more expensive than comparable brands and with Johnson & Johnson’s other sunscreens, 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.
We are investigating whether Johnson & Johnson is deceiving consumers as to the effectiveness of its sunscreens. If you or someone you know purchased a Johnson & Johnson sunscreen with a SPF over 50, or any other sunscreen with such a high SPF, please contact us to discuss your legal options.