Recently, sunscreens have started to appear on the market with a new “UVC” rating. While UVA corresponds to the longest wavelength of ultraviolet light (approximately 320-400 nm) and is largely responsible for long-term skin aging and UVB is middle wavelength (280-320 nm) and creates skin erythema and burning, UVC is the shortest wavelength (approximately 100-280 nm) and been associated with acute sunburn, according to the journal Contact Dermatitis. Yet, according to Dr. Ellen Marmur, M.D., chief of dermatologic and cosmetic surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City in the April 2009 Glamour, “Some companies have been listing UVC on their sunscreen labels as a marketing tool. It’s a total scam by people just to make a buck…UVC rays…are almost completely blocked by the atmosphere, unless you’re at incredibly high altitudes, like Mt. Everest.”
The verdict? Don’t be drawn into these new sunscreens that advertise “UVC” ratings. Instead, look for the highest UVA/UVB protection you can. And for the ultimate in performance in sun protection, always contact your dermatologist first, who can give personalized recommendations.